Approval for toxic-waste incinerator to be investigated

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

An immediate investigation has been ordered into why approval was given to locate a toxic-waste incinerator in one of Panama's most important tourist regions Amador, El Crítica newspaper reported.

The investigation has been ordered by the country's new agriculture minister Laurentino Cortizo who said it is "incoherent" that the previous government gave approval for the incinerator in Amador, which is also known as El Coastway, near the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal.

Cortizo said that no approval for the incinerator had been granted by the Inter-Oceanic Region Authority (ARI) and added that he wanted to know the parameters of the previous minister Linnette Stanziola's power to give the go ahead for the project.

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Corrective action needs to be taken so that no damage would be done to Panama's important tourism industry, he said.

ARI administrator, Alfredo Arias, said that the location of an incinerator in Amador would need the approval of the ARI, but no one had approached the authority about the project at any time.