Grand Island Cancún's environmental approval is under review. Grand Island hotel's approval is under review.

Feds reviewing Cancún mega-hotel’s environmental approval

State environment department says the project is not environmentally viable

The environmental approval granted to the proposed Grand Island mega-hotel in Cancún is under review by federal environmental authorities.

The news came just as the Quintana Roo Environment Secretariat (SEMA) revealed that it does not view the project as environmentally viable.

Environment Secretary Alfredo Arellano Guillermo confirmed that his department disapproved of the project during the evaluation by the federal environment department, Semarnat, which approved the project in July.

“At that time . . . we issued a negative technical opinion. The project does not conform to some guidelines, some environmental parameters,” he said.

SEMA’s review of the 10-billion-peso (US $528-million) hotel found that in addition to being noncompliant with urban regulations, it put the area’s mangrove forests at risk.

The coordinator of federal social programs in Quintana Roo, Arturo Abreu Marín, said that technical documentation detailing the project’s effects on local mangroves will be released to the public in the coming weeks.

Head of the National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur), Rogelio Jiménez Pons, confirmed that the project is undergoing a review by Semarnat that will determine whether it proceeds.

“The Grand Island project is under review because I have information that it does not fully comply with environmental stipulations, and if it doesn’t, they have surprised [the president] and it will have to be reviewed. We aren’t going to overlook any environmental law,” he said.

President López Obrador hailed the 3,000-room hotel in October, saying it would provide a boost to the state economy.

In November, developer BVG World solicited two writs of amparo for the project, alleging the violation of rights without proper court proceedings and illegal search.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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