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Environmentalists file lawsuit to stop Hard Rock hotel construction

Cancun, Q.R. — The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) has filed a nullity lawsuit against the Environmental Impact Authorization permit granted by Semarnat for the construction of the Hard Rock Riviera Cancun Hotel on mangrove and dune land at Cancun.

Cemda says the hotel is located in the zone of influence of the Costa Occidental National Park of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún and Punta Nizuc as well as the Arrecife National Park of Puerto Morelos (PNAPM) and the Area of Protection of Flora and Fauna Mangroves of Nichupté.

“The project (hotelier) includes a desalination plant, but does not present a modeling study of the impacts that will cause the generation of 360 cubic meters of brine daily during 50 years of project life,” said Cemda.

“This creates uncertainty regarding the risk of brine becoming a source of contamination for the PNAPM, and therefore, affecting the moose horn reef, in the face of such risk, the judicial authority is requested to apply the precautionary principle.”

Four types of mangroves, three corals, three turtles, as well as the chit palm and the palm nakax, are some of the species protected by Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 that would be affected by the construction of the Hard Rock Riviera Cancun, according to Cemda.

“The Authorization of Environmental Impact was granted with an obvious erroneous criterion, the determination of which will not affect the coastal wetland and its mangrove area, the coastal dune, the morphology of the federal maritime land area and the adjacent marine area with the presence of reef communities, lacks the appropriate technical and scientific justification,” said the environmental organization.

“The studies and information presented by the promoter of this project suffer from important deficiencies that were not considered by Semarnat when granting its authorization in the matter of environmental impact.”

The Mexican Center for Environmental Law also warns, “The project includes the construction of a pool of more than one hectare over a dune area, a key ecosystem for the protection function against hurricanes and storms.”

“For all of the above reasons, we respectfully request the judicial authority to waive the Environmental Impact Authorization granted to the project called Lot 15-15, since it is evident the lack of due diligence on the part of Semarnat to verify the truthfulness of the information and not be carried away by affirmations and presumptions of the beneficiary with the authorization.”