The Smelter Wars – Studio Caribe TV

Smelter Wars in Trinidad and Tobago: Lessons for Citizen Organisation and Participation in the Caribbean?

By Cathal Healy-Singh (Cathal Healy-Singh is an Environmental Engineer who lives in Trinidad and Tobago)

On June 16th 2009, in the High Court of Justice, Port-of-Spain, Justice Mira Dean-Armorer ruled that the decision on 2nd April, 2007, by the State’s Environmental Management Authority (EMA), to grant a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) to Alutrint Limited, a State Corporation, to construct a 125,000 metric ton per year aluminium smelter was, with respect to handling of hazardous wastes and cumulative human health and environmental impacts, “outrageous”…“irrational”…”shrouded in secrecy”… and… “procedurally irregular”. The CEC was duly “quashed”.

"...a younger generation has defined aluminium smelting in T&T to be “anti-sustainable development”. A line is clearly drawn in the sand. The writing is on the horizon, the winds of change are gathering across the Caribbean."

Justice Dean-Armorer ruled on one of the three separately filed but jointly heard applications for leave for judicial review of the EMA’s decision to grant Alutrint a CEC. Hearings had taken place in November and December 2008. The Judicial Review applied only to the decision making process used by the EMA and not whether an aluminium smelter was a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ form of development for T&T. (MORE HERE)

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