FLOATING DRYDOCK NIXED AT MAJURO ATOLL

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HONOLULU (Pacific Islands Report, July 1) – The Marshall Islands Environmental Protection Agency has rejected the location of a floating drydock at Uliga, an island in Majuro Atoll.

But the agency, which cited environmental concerns about the industrial operation near urban areas, said it would consider another location for the facility.

The project was proposed by Taiwan-based Ching Fu Shipyard Co. Ltd.

"The RMI EPA Board is not prepared to grant the project approval due to the conflict of competing uses and land use at the preferred Uliga site," the agency said in a news release. "It is the opinion of the Board that the location for the proposed project does not allow that all significant adverse environmental effects that may be avoided have been eliminated or substantially lessened."

According to the company’s website, Ching Fu launched a 101-meter floating dry-dock intended to serve as a repair facility in the Marshalls on April 30.

Uliga is among the 56 islands that form Majuro Atoll in the Marshalls.

"Urban quality, scenic quality, historic and cultural resources, and the design of the built environment and impact on population and human uses of the land are the most pertinent factors that would be significantly improved given a relocation to a different site," the agency said.

‘The RMI EPA Board would be prepared to accept a revised MOU regarding an alternative location that removes the operation from the central DUD residential and commercial areas of Majuro—where its industrial nature is more compatible with the surrounding environment and its human uses."

July 1, 2005

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