Last month, news emerged of waste being disposed into the sea near the Bourj Hammoud landfill. The Minister of Environment stated that the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) was responsible: “The contract between the contractor and the Council for Development and Reconstruction stipulates that trash from this landfill would be disposed of at sea.” Supposedly, the purpose of this process would be to reclaim land. Continue reading
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 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
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
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:
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
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