Chief Prosecutor Sint Maarten is ‘satisfied’ with dump injunction outcome

PHILIPSBURG--The Prosecutor’s Office said it was “satisfied” with Friday’s verdict in the so-called dump injunction. Chief Prosecutor Mirjam Mol said it was a “good first step” that the Court of First Instance has ordered Country St. Maarten to finalise the Fire Suppression Plan at the landfill dumpsite by May 1, 2020, at the latest.
 
In case of non-compliance government will have to pay daily penalties of NAf. 10,000, with a maximum of NAf. 10 million, the judge stated Friday. On the orders of the Court, the penalties that may be forfeited will be for the benefit of Nature Foundation St. Maarten.
 
“We are satisfied with the outcome,” said Chief Prosecutor Mirjam Mol in an invited comment on Wednesday. “Now we look forward to seeing the fire suppression system put in place by May 1 and we hope that government takes further measures to reduce pollution in St. Maarten. It is a good first step.”
 
The Court decision in the injunction came almost one year after St. Maarten residents Barbara Cannegieter, Camiel Koster and law firm Bergman Zwanikken Snow Essed (BZSE) filed an injunction against country St. Maarten, the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI, and former landfill management company Robelto and Son B.V.
 
In the injunction, which was later joined by the Prosecutor’s Office, plaintiffs requested that the Court order government and the garbage dump operator to take effective measures to prevent the emission of smoke, gases and stench at the landfill and to conduct measurements of the toxic fumes and make these public.
 
Measurements made by National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM in the Netherlands revealed that public health is not in direct danger.
 
The Daily Herald

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