Are the new landfills already polluting Beirut’s sea?

Image result for aub beach

Source: AUB

Last week, the American University of Beirut warned their faculty and staff not to swim in the AUB beach through an email stating that the “level of bacteria exceeded the acceptable limits for bathing water quality”. A week later, AUB sent out another email stating that the water is now safe for swimming because the “bacteria dropped to acceptable bathing water quality limit.” Continue reading

The dire state of the quarry sector in Lebanon

Image result for quarries lebanon

Source: Al Akhbar

The quarry issue was brought back to the spotlight last month after the Internal Security Forces recommended the closure of the quarries in Kfar Matta until the Ministry of Environment proposes recommendations. The Ministry of Interior and Municipalities ordered a nationwide halt to all quarry operations for one month. This order was met with a strike by the Truck Owners Union that crippled traffic into Beirut for a day. The government then decided to reopen licensed facilities and gave illegal factories one month to adhere to all regulations. Continue reading

Is Beirut ready to burn its waste?

Image result for waste incineration beirut

Source: Daily Star

As we approach the second year after the closing of the Naameh Landfill, little progress has been made towards developing and implementing a comprehensive solid waste management plan for Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The plan of the previous Lebanese government, two landfills to replace the Naameh landfill, is on the brink of collapse. The Costa Brava landfill is supposed to be closed next month after a Lebanese court ordered its permanent closure in four months last January. Over the weekend, demonstrators blocked the entrance of the landfill protesting the environmental pollution caused by the landfill. The second landfill in Bourj Hammoud is currently being challenged in court. Last week, the case was adjourned for one month as experts conduct an environmental study of the landfill. Continue reading

The complicated business of depolluting El Gahdir River

Image result for al ghadir river lebanon

Source: Ibrahim El Ali

Last week, the Minister of Environment blamed building violations for the “unacceptable” condition of of El Ghadir River, claiming that one of the sources of pollution is sand washers and called for an investigation to determine the full impact the washers have on the river.

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The case of the Eden Rock Resort and EIA framework in Lebanon (UPDATE)

Update: The Shura council reversed two of its previous decisions to halt the construction permit of the Eden Resort at Beirut’s Ramle El Baida beach. The Shura Council’s first decision was based on number of legal violations related to land and environmental regulations. Until now, no explanation has been given on why the Council decided to change its mind, putting into question the independence of the judiciary in the country.

For more information on the previous rulings and how it impacts environmental legislation:

Image result for eden resort beirut construction ramlet el baida

Source: The Daily Star

A Lebanese Urgent Matters Judge issued a court order to halt the construction of the Eden Rock Resort on Ramlet El Baida beach in Beirut or pay fine of a 150 million Lebanese Pounds (US$ 100,000) for every day the order is violated. The issue was brought to the court by the plaintiffs (Green Line Association and Legal Agenda) after the developer refused to abide by the two previous two Shura Council rulings. Continue reading

Another legal environmental win for Lebanon

Image result for ramlet bayda beach eden rock lebanon

Source: Firas Bou Zeineddine/Facebook

Yesterday, the Shura Council ordered a temporary one month stop to the construction of a resort on the Rablet El Baida Beach in Beirut. This case was brought to the Council by Green Line Association and the Legal Agenda on November 11, 2016. The plaintiff’s case was based on the lack of adherence to land and environmental regulations, misrepresentation of information to the Higher Council of Urban Planning, and the citizen’s right to the sea. Continue reading

Environmental justice makes a rare appearance in Lebanon

Image result for costa brava landfill birds lebanon

Source: Lebanese National News Agency

On January 31st 2017, a Lebanese court ordered the permanent closure of the Costa Brava landfill in four months. The issue was brought to a court by a group of plaintiffs that consisted of lawyers and civilians living near the landfill. The landfill was ordered to be closed to preserve a healthy environment and to protect the safety of the passengers that use the only international airport in the country. Continue reading