Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association - Against Windfarms Flamenco Culebra

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  From: sender@mmsend.com [mailto:sender@mmsend.com] On Behalf Of nnavarro@prhta.org
  Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:41 PM
  To: info@posada.com
  Subject: Installation of Wind Farm in Flamenco Beach

        November 28, 2012

        Dear Member:

        Recently the Environmental Quality Board held public hearings on the proposed
        construction of a commercial scale wind project in Punta Famenco, Culebra. Upon
        reviewing the report submitted by our Conservation Committee, the PRHTA opposes this
        project for the following reasons:

              1. Energy Emergency (Luis Fortuño Executive Order and L 76 of My 5, 2000)
                 PRHTA understands that currently there is no such emergency applicable to Culebra,
                 as power is supplied through the grid, and supply is greater than demand. There is no
                 current threat of attack by enemy forces or emergency situation that could significantly
                 threaten services. There is no current condition in Punta Flamenco that jeopardizes
                 an ecologically sensitive system and that having the proposed wind turbines would
                 help to protect. Thermoelectrical plants are distant from Culebra, therefore no
                 pollution concerns would be solved by the turbines for Culebra population.

              2. Scenic Value of Punta Flamenco and Flamenco Beach for Tourism
                 Even though Flamenco Beach has been highlighted for its natural beauty and pristine
                 state of conservation in numerous publications around the world, and featured in
                 travel shows on international TV, no mention of this important aspect is made in the
                 documents submitted by the developer. The section on alternate uses does not

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                mention the tourism benefits of Punta Flamenco or the Beach. We understand that
                this emblematic beach is one of the main drivers for tourists that visit Culebra, and
                that it certainly qualifies as an alternate use, and as a source of income for local
                residents, especially small businesses. On the other hand, the document contains
                contradictions, such as the odd establishment of botanical gardens at the wind
                generators site, and also the construction of four private residences. A review of
                Caribbean beaches revealed that none of them have wind farms within view. We
                understand that in disturbing the natural appeal of this beach, we would lose
                competitive value as opposed to other Caribbean islands that compete for the same
                market, and would be at a disadvantage.

              3. Environmental Justice
                 This component of the environmental impacts analysis (DIA) requires prior
                 consultation with local residents to ascertain that the proposed project is understood
                 and that measures will be taken to reduce possible adverse consequences to the
                 community. However, even though the developer states that there is a "commitment
                 of the developers to integrate environmental justice in all activities related to the
                 project" the reality is that no prior consultation was done with local residents.
                 Moreover, no prior consultation was done with tourism operators in Culebra, whose
                 main source of income is derived from Playa Flamenco and its capacity to position
                 Culebra as a natural and ecologically attractive destination. In addition, the idea that
                 environmental justice will be done by eliminating "disproportionately adverse effects to
                 human health" through the construction of this wind farm project is not substantiated
                 with facts.

        Deadline for comments to the EQB was extended to next Monday, December 3, 2012. The
        PRHTA opposes this project for the aforementioned reasons. If you agree with PRHTA's
        position, please indicate so by replying to this e-mail no later that this Friday, November
        30th, 2012.

        Thank you for your prompt response to this request.

        Ada Torres-Ramirez
        Committee Chair
        Conservation Committee

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