Environmentalists have filed a legal challenge against the federal government’s authorization for construction of the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Cancún.
The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) claims the hotel site is located in the area of influence of the National Parks of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún and Punta Nizuc, the Arrecife National Park of Puerto Morelos and the Nichupté protected area.
“The project includes a desalinization plant but it lacks a study on the impact of the 360 cubic meters of brine it will produce every day for 50 years,” Cemda said.
The organization believes the brine could become a source of pollution for the park in Puerto Morelos, damaging the endangered elkhorn coral.
Other threatened species include four different varieties of mangrove, three kinds of coral, three types of sea turtles and local plant life including Florida thatch and Mexican silver palm trees, all protected by federal environmental regulations.
“The environmental impact authorization was granted under evidently erroneous criteria, without a proper technical and scientific assessment of the effects on coastal wetlands, mangroves and sand dunes, on the federal maritime-terrestrial federal zone and the adjoining marine zone and its coral reefs,” Cemda said in a prepared statement.
The NGO also claimed that the developer presented an environmental impact study that “suffers from important deficiencies that were not taken into consideration by Semarnat [the federal Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources] . . . .”
One factor is the hotel’s projected height of 49 meters, which could affect air currents and become a triggering factor for erosion of the beach.
The planned construction of a pool on an area exceeding one hectare could also affect the sand dune ecosystem, “essential for its protection against storms and hurricanes.”
Plans for the US $225-million, 1,800-room hotel at kilometer 17.5 on Kukulcán Boulevard were announced in early 2015, and the project was approved by Semarnat in July.
Source: Reforma (sp)