CEJ files action against sand filling and beach pollution in Mt. Lavinia | Sunday Observer

CEJ files action against sand filling and beach pollution in Mt. Lavinia

The Centre for Environmental Justice filed action in the Court of Appeal against the Coast Conservation Department (CCD), Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Minister of Environment, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and the Attorney General against pollution and sand filling at the Mt. Lavinia beach without following the due procedure, CEJ Executive Director Hemantha Withanage said.

In the petition CEJ seeks the grant of a Writ of Mandamus:

1. Directing the Minister to make regulations to minimise or ban of the use of single-use plastic and to formulate policies, plans or strategies to prevent coastal and marine pollution and discharge of waste and other effluents to the ocean;

2. Directing the CCD to take measures to implement the Sri Lanka Coastal Zone and Coastal Resource Management Plan – 2018;

3. Directing the CCD to give effect to the provisions of the Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Act, No. 57 of 1981;

4. Directing the CEA to give effect to the provisions of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Act and to make regulations to give effect to the existing principles in relation to the protection of the environment as laid down by the apex Courts of the country;

5. Directing the CEA and the Minister to give effect to the provisions of the National Environmental Act and the protection of the Coastal Zone; directing the MEPA to give effect to the provisions of the Marine Pollution Prevention Act No. 35 of 2008 and to formulate plans and strategies for the prevention of marine pollution;

6. Directing the CEA and the Minister to investigate into the said Mt. Lavinia Beach nourishment project and ascertain whether it was implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Coast Conservation, Coastal Resource Management Act, No. 57 of 1981 and to international conventions and declarations signed or ratified and considered as soft laws of the country and to take action against the CCD for any violations or deviations from the said laws;

7. Directing one or all of the Respondents take measures in terms of the law to investigate into the discharge of waste materials to the ocean which were washed up to several coastal areas and to punish the perpetrators responsible; and

8. Directing the Minister to amend the regulations under Gazette Extraordinary Number 772/22 dated June 24, 1993 to include the coastal zone within the scope of the area where an environmental assessment for a prescribed project is a mandatory requirement.

However, the CCD stated earlier that the washing away of sand heaps, which was filled for the construction of the artificial beach between Kalutara and Mount Lavinia, was not sea erosion but the method adopted in creating artificial beaches using natural forces and stated that the construction of the artificial beach was proposed following extensive sea erosion in that area.

The CCD noted that an EIA had been obtained for the project and rejected concerns that the project will lead to major environmental damage.

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