Wednesday 23 September, 2020

FFOS to EMA: Release full documents on environment assessments

Conservation group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) said they are currently engaged in a Judicial Review of the Environmental Management Authority’s (EMA) decision not to grant full copies of Environmental Impact Assessments.

In a statement issued Tuesday (August 4), FFOS said that the EMA grants up to 10 percent of the document based on the discretion of their Librarian.

The FFOS said: ‘Because FFOS have difficulty accessing local technical experts for the wide range of disciplines required to thoroughly review an EIA and because local experts are often blacklisted if they work with us or have conflicts of interest, FFOS depend on international experts.’

‘Hence the importance of FFOS requiring a full copy of the EIA which for the past twenty years, is scanned and sent abroad for comment so that we effectively and meaningfully participate in the statutory public comment period.’

‘The ruling on this matter will significantly impact on Commonwealth Law and will affect the public’s access to information and its ability to meaningfully participate in the decision-making process in multiple nations regionally and worldwide.’

The FFOS is calling on anyone or any group interested in making submissions or comments on the matter as follows:

1. Whether Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), or EIA reports as they are sometimes known, are original intellectual creations in the literary domain and protected by copyright.

2. Whether EIAs- submitted to the EMA pursuant to its statutory and regulatory obligations, including its policy - are impliedly excluded or exempted from copyright protection; or whether there should be express statutory provision to the effect that EIAs are exempted or excluded from copyright protection.

3. Whether EIAs form part of the National CEC Register; and, if so, whether that impacts copyright (if any) in those documents.

The group said all are invited to submit their responses by serving notice on or before 4 pm on Friday August 14, 2020 via email to:

The Judicial Support Officer at

Team.Rampersad.Dev@ttlawcourts.org

Attorneys for the EMA at advice@milnelaw.com

Attorneys for FFOS at alvinspariagsingh@gmail.com

To access the request see here: https://bit.ly/2Xvm7mK 

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