MIA for Section 5 of Mayan Train Has Been SubmittedBy Fernando Mares | Fri, 05/20/2022 - 12:59
Three months after the beginning of construction works, on Wednesday, the Environmental Impact Assessment (MIA) for section 5 of the Mayan Train was submitted to SEMARNAT. This came after a local court accepted a class suit that claims a millionaire compensation for the damages to the environment the project is causing.
The MIA was presented by the Institute of Ecology (INECOL) and CONACYT, which states that significant impacts would be made during the development of the project that would be mitigated during the operative and maintenance phases. “Among the observed impacts during the project’s development, water related issues stand out, particularly those related to hydrologic processes that could happen because of the interaction of southern section 5 with the caustic systems, cenotes, groundwater flow and the possible disorder to the natural hydrologic linkage,” the document says.
The document stressed the importance of paying attention to the local hydrologic balance, reducing possible alteration of superficial leakings, reduction of the percolation and evapotranspiration, as well as responsible management of waste waters, oil and fuel to prevent them from contaminating the surrounding environment.
The MIA states the project is developed in an area with several changes in the use of land and that, despite the limited use of land covered by vegetation, its impact will not be significant and it will not accelerate the damage to the environment that has been historically recorded.
Works at section 5 started three months ago, although they have been suspended by an amparo approved by a local court. Environmental activists demand transparency in the MIA process, arguing that the law does not allow the submitting of a MIA “after the territory has been devastated.”
Camila Jaber, Spokesperson, SOS Cenotes, declared that there are a significant number of caves and cenotes in section 5 that are obstacles for the train. Even though the organization has covered the site, it has found the cenotes filled with debris. For this reason, they urged authorities to repair the damage and make the required studies as SEMARNAT should not have accepted the MIA after the damage was done.
The ministry’s website does not provide all the information regarding the MIA, which means it cannot be determined if the document was commissioned by the National Fund for Tourism Development (FONATUR) or by the consortium led by Grupo Mexico. Now that the MIA has been submitted, however, works are expected to restart between 60 and 120 business days.