Environmentalists sue over hotel project.
Conservation organizations sued the Environmental Quality Board
(EQB) for having approved the environmental impact statement submitted
for the Dos Mares-JW Marriott Resort proposed for a forested area along
the coast in Luquillo, reports Caribbean Business (Dec. 3, 2004).
"The EQB approved the environmental impact statement despite the
objections of various federal and state agencies and the observations
made during public hearings about deficiencies and incorrect information
in the document," said Luis Jorge Rivera of the Initiative for
Sustainable Development. The Dos Mares project, proposed by the Planning
Board, would involve the construction of 978 housing units, 450 hotel
rooms, and two golf courses of 18 and nine holes. The environmental
groups want to preserve the area as part of the Northeastern Ecological
Corridor, which would protect forested areas running from the Caribbean
National Forest (El Yunque) to the ocean. They also claim the two
resorts would add additional stress to a water system suffering from
chronic water shortages. The developers note, however, that the planned
Northeastern Aqueduct, which will include a 12-million-gallon reservoir
off the Fajardo River, will sufficiently increase supply in the area to
accommodate the resorts.