Letter to Ed Boles from Vulcan
Dear Dr. Boles,
Thank you for including us on this note to share with us for the first time your concerns on The White Ridge Project. As we move forward, we are committed to maintaining transparent, open lines of communication with stakeholders to share project facts and respond to questions and concerns.
In this spirit, we wanted to set the record straight on certain claims made in your email and attached draft report. In our view, these claims are inaccurate and unfortunately, even if unintentionally, misleading.
· It is misleading to try and quantify or detail environmental impacts before an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been conducted for The White Ridge Project. Vulcan Materials Company has not yet finalized a purchase of the White Ridge Farm property. If Vulcan purchases the White Ridge Farm property, the project will undergo a rigorous and scientifically thorough EIA, conducted to World Bank standards and consistent with all Belizean regulations. That report will discuss scientific findings on any environmental impacts and a comprehensive plan on how best to address them. All relevant updates on the EIA process, including opportunities for stakeholder input, will be posted to our website and Facebook channels.
· We are committed to developing The White Ridge Project as an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable limestone quarry. We will act as responsible stewards of the unique flora and fauna on the White Ridge Farm property. This is how we operate across each and every one of our hundreds of sites in North America, and how we will operate in Belize, should we develop the project. Consistent with our company-wide commitment to environmental stewardship and ethics, we will only proceed with this project if it can be demonstrably proven that it can be done in a way that takes into account the overall environment and surrounding ecosystems. We will continue to have open, ongoing conversations with stakeholders on the number of wide-ranging economic and environmental benefits this project can have for the Gales Point community and the nation as a whole.
· We have a decades-long history of successful and productive operations in Mexico. Our operations have contributed greatly to the local economy and local education, having been recognized on numerous occasions for our environmental stewardship. Over a 14-year-period, the Mexican government repeatedly awarded our operation with its “Clean Industry Certificate” – the highest official environmental award given by the government of Mexico to businesses operating in Mexico. We hold, and always have held, all authorizations and permits required by and granted under Mexican law to operate safely and environmentally responsibly in Mexico. When appropriate, we have defended our rights as consistent with the law, as is the case with the in-progress NAFTA arbitration filed in mid-2018. We encourage you to read the facts on our environmental conservation work in our most recent SAC-TUN sustainability report.
As the EIA process determines environmental data and needs surrounding this project, we will continue to work with local leaders and the community to support public health needs, education, welfare, and jobs for the citizens of Gales Point and the surrounding areas.
We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns. We hope to maintain an open line of dialogue with you moving forward.
Janet F. Kavinoky