A Ministry of Environment official yesterday said the ministry will still review an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a sand dredging project for SCTWN Development Co Ltd, if submitted, despite the Ministry of Mines and Energy earlier this week prohibiting sand dredging in the area covered by the company’s project proposal.
Udom Seima Peanich Industry & Mine Co Ltd and SCTWN Development in January were given approval by authorities, including the Ministry of Environment, to conduct EIAs for sand dredging in Koh Kong’s Trapaing Roung and Tatay Krom communes, and SCTWN is also constructing a sand washing facility in the vicinity.
Danh Serey, director of the Environment Impact Assessment Department at the Ministry of Environment, said that if the project owner submits the EIA, the ministry will review it based on the EIA sub-decree.
He added that the ministry hasn’t received the EIA from the company. “We are waiting for the EIA report from the company” to address the situation, he said. A committee can decide to approve it or not, although Serey wouldn’t say if the committee would reject it, given the restriction on sand dredging in that area.
Mines Minister Suy Sem on Monday signed a prakas and guidelines permanently banning sand exports from Koh Kong. Companies will still be allowed to do small-scale dredging for domestic use in five zones in the Tatai, Trapaing Roung and Sre Ambel rivers, though SCTWN’s project and sand facility are in a red zone, where no dredging is allowed.
A woman who answered a call to a phone number associated with SCTWN claimed she had no relation to the company and that she had only helped register the company with the Ministry of Commerce.