AN ARTIST’s impression of the Royal Caribbean project.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune News Editor
ROYAL Caribbean International has released its first public consultation report for the Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island - answering questions on issues such as wastewater treatment.
The document’s release comes as the company prepares another public consultation on June 8.
The first report was completed in 2021. The supplemental consultation period comes as critics question the project’s environmental impact.
Numerous questions were submitted to RCI, according to its first report.
Vaughn Robert, senior vice president at Atlantis, was among those who submitted questions, including about the company’s proposed desalination and wastewater treatment plants (WWTP).
RCI responded: “In 2019, during initial planning, Royal Caribbean explored linking to the existing sewage line on Paradise Island, but the recommendation from multiple consultants – and consistent with best practices in The Bahamas – is to process all (100%) wastewater through an onsite WWTP.
“The proposed WWTP will consist of (a) transfer station, (b) above grade Membrane Bioreactor treatment system, (c) disinfection of effluent, (d) an effluent storage tank, and (e) polishing equipment to treat the effluent further for irrigation purposes. The WWTP will be designed to accommodate inflow and collection and provide treatment at levels in excess of the design load condition.”
RCI said wastewater will receive primary, secondary and tertiary treatment and “treated water will be used for irrigation and other beneficial reuse best practices will be employed”.
Mr Roberts also asked for alternatives that would create less impact by reducing the project’s footprint or by doing less land development.
In response, RCI said: “With development, there is always an alternative of ‘no action’ which leaves the proposed site untouched. Given the significant amount of previously impacted acreage, the state of disrepair of nearly all of the buildings on the site and their potential risk to adjacent properties as a result of high winds due to tropical events, the eroding state of the existing infrastructure on the island, and the hazard created by the current property (rebar on the beach, holes on the property, etc.) to individuals trespassing the property from adjacent properties/business, if the site is not transformed it will continue to fall into disrepair.
“In addition, repairing most of the existing infrastructure is no longer possible. Clearing and demolition of the current site for the construction of the new Beach Club will help mitigate these concerns, not to mention the economic benefit created based on the unique structure of the Royal Beach Club.”
Mr Roberts also asked how RCI would protect its development from harmful discharges, claiming the company has a “history of discharging oil, toxic waste and falsifying records”.
RCI said in response: “No one’s history is perfect, but over 30 years ago we took a stance and began our Save the Waves programme. Since then, Royal Caribbean has a formidable environmental record for consistently going above and beyond the environmental regulations put in place by various authorities around the world.”