AMP protects Colón scrapyard

Noriel Araúz, administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), continues to accumulate complaints of irregular handling in his administration.

Araúz and the Ministry of the Environment have allowed the operation of a company dedicated to the scrapping of ships in the Cristóbal neighborhood, in Colón, causing contamination of the site and constituting a violation of both national and international environmental regulations.

A year ago the first complaint was filed by the lawyer Lineth Araúz, now the problem is reiterated in another complaint by the environmental lawyer Harley Mitchel Morán.

The case was also denounced at the time by the mayor of that province, Alex Lee, who asked to investigate the permits granted by Araúz, regent of the AMP, for the deboning of boats stranded on the Colon coast. Even Lee assured that a deeper look at those insurance documents would reveal irregularities, since they were diligently approved by the AMP official.

In the place, the segmentation of disused ships is carried out to remove materials and parts. The boats are cut up, disassembled, separated, all this while liquid waste such as oils and fuels fall directly into the sea or remain on the coast, causing serious contamination in the place that is increasing every day, according to the complaints already formalized.

Last year, Mi Ambiente an investigation identified as an order to initiate an investigation DRCL-I081-1910-2021, issued by the Colón Regional Directorate of the Ministry of the Environment, after the complaint of the lawyer Lineth Araúz.

The investigation confirms that the company JAM Marine Dockyard, carries out the activity of scrapping ships without an approved Environmental Impact Study (EIA) and in “complete disorder”.

But a year after that, Mi Ambiente says that it is still processing the complaint without having stopped the activity and has not even taken water samples to measure the degree of contamination.

“Although Mi Ambiente authorized an environmental audit for the company, this has not had the slightest impact on compliance with environmental protection measures,” the complainants point out.

The AMP, for its part, issued a response to lawyer Araúz’s complaint. Note ADM-1083-05-2022-OAL, where it states that “a field inspection was carried out” and no contamination was found. She added that Mi Ambiente approved an audit plan for the beneficiary company.

However, the DGPIMA Note No. 1548 – CON – 2021 of July 16, 2021, issued by the General Director of the Directorate of Ports and Auxiliary Maritime Industries of the AMP, Flor Pitty, which authorized JAM Marine to occupy the space , does not mention a ship wrecking yard.

According to the complainants, another visible irregularity in the company’s operations is that the operating license No.2622 dated October 4, 2021, provided by JAM Marine, was requested and obtained, after the complaint filed by the lawyer Araúz . In addition, the document does not indicate the Cristóbal area for operations.

This inconsistency is also recorded in the certificate of approval of the Contingency Plan presented by the company JAM Marine Dockyard, where the AMP authorizes the company to work in Veracruz, district of Arraiján, province of Panamá Oeste. Nor does it mention the Cristóbal area or any area in the province of Colón.

For the environmental lawyer Harley Mitchell Morán, in this case there is indeed a crime against the environment.

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Source: Critica

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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