Final Report

05.2008

Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
International Airport Development Company

Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment

Kocks Consult GmbH • Stegemannstr. 32-38 • D-56068 Koblenz • Tel.: +49 261 1302-0 Fax: +49 261 1302-400 • E-Mail: info@kocks-ing.de • Internet: www.kocks-ing.de

Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

Acknowledgement The conduct of the present EIA was made possible by the IADC who provided contacts and logistic support.

We also thank all those Government Officials and those individuals who have dedicated their time, especially the Chief Advisor who has been the primary point of contact for information on the project design and provided baseline data and drawings.

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

This EIA report was prepared by: Melanie Poerschmann Jürgen Meyer EIA specialist and Team Leader

with contributions from François Kerschkamp (airport design) Michael Baumann (airport engineering) Martin van der Knaap (fisheries) James Ramsay (forestry) Nicole Poerschke and Woytek Brzezinski (drawings) Lystra Culzac Wilson and Amos Glasgow (Milligan Cay) Nigel Weekes (flora)

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 2. 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3. 3.1 3.2 3.3 4. 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 5. 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 INTRODUCTION Project History and Background Project Management and Implementation Arrangements Project Implementation Schedule Project Cost Need and Justification of the Project ALTERNATIVES Site Alternatives Design Alternatives Selected Option Without-Project Alternative METHODOLOGY General The Study Area Limitations of the Study PROJECT DESCRIPTION Review of Basic Documents Project Location Project Layout Traffic Forecast Project Implementation Process Construction Materials Construction Equipment ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK International and Regional Environmental Policy Environmental Protection Legislation Nature Conservation Legislation Heritage Legislation Land Acquisition Regulations 49 49 50 53 53 54 13 13 14 16 17 18 21 21 22 24 24 27 27 28 31 33 33 34 36 43 44 46 47

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5.6 5.7 5.8 6. 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 7. 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 8. 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 9. 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4

Institutional Responsibilities ICAO Standards and Recommendations Conclusions ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT Geology and Topography Climatic Conditions Water Resources and Drainage Natural Environment Aquatic Habitats and Wildlife Other Aquatic Habitats Protected Areas Natural Hazards CULTURAL AND RECREATIONAL ASSETS Cultural Heritage Old Sugar Mills Cultural Assets Recreational Areas and Sites Planned Tourism Development Sites SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT Population and Demographic Characteristics Settlements Land Use Community Structure and Employment Tri-Tri Fisheries Social and Community Infrastructure Public Health Cultural Properties, Customs, Aspirations and Attitudes INDUCED AND CUMULATIVE IMPACTS AND THEIR CONTROL Introduction Regional Context Major Current and Future Development Projects Induced Development and Impacts

54 57 60 63 63 70 74 79 92 96 96 97 107 107 119 120 122 124 127 127 128 130 134 135 136 137 139 141 141 141 142 144

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9.5 9.6 10. 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6
10.7

Positive Impacts Conclusions and Recommendations ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND THEIR MITIGATION Introduction Design Review Construction Phase Impacts Operational Environmental Impacts Safety Conceptual Operational Environmental Management Plan Cost Estimate Implementation Schedule Institutional and Agency Support SOCIO ECONOMIC IMPACTS AND THEIR MITIGATION Introduction Residential Land Agricultural Land and Empty Land Parcels Business and Commercial Activities Fisheries Cultural Assets Conclusions and Recommendation ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PLAN Introduction ICAO Compliance Monitoring and Detailed Design Review Responsibilities and Necessary Institutional Arrangements Final Detailed Design Phase Construction Phase Operational Phase

153 154 163 163 165 182 208 217 222 223 230 233 239 239 240 241 243 244 244 244 247 247 248 249 250 251 251

10.8 10.9 11. 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 12. 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6

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APPENDICES Appendix I: Appendix II: Birds of Milligan Cay Wildlife Reserve Plant and Animal Species of the Study Area opment Project Appendix IV: Extract from a Cost Proposal for Archaeological Excavations Appendix V:

253

Appendix III: The Tri-Tri Resources of St. Vincent in the Context of the Argyle Airport Devel-

Summary Environmental Management Plan – Detailed Design Review Phase –

Appendix VI: Summary Construction Environmental Management Plan Appendix VII: Summary Environmental Monitoring Plan Appendix VIII: Conceptual Operational Environmental Management Plan Appendix IX: List of Contacts Appendix X: References Appendix XI: ToR Appendix XII: Concept of Obstacle Restrictions and Elimination Appendix XIII: Results of the Wind Measurement Program MAPS (attached at the end of this document) Land Use and Habitats (1: 5,000) Map of Mitigation Measures (1:5,000) Aerial Photograph Project layout (1:8,000) Yambou river crossing (1:1,500) LIST OF TABLES Tab. 1: Tab. 2: Tab. 3: Tab. 4: Tab. 5: Tab. 6: Tab. 7: Tab. 8: Tab. 9: Cost estimate Argyle International Airport............................................................... 18 Information gaps and uncertainties.......................................................................... 31 Registered groundwater levels (from south to north) ............................................. 77 Area of main forest types 1949 - 1993 .................................................................... 80 Natural and semi-natural habitat types in the Project area.................................... 87 Saffir Simpson hurricane intensity scale ................................................................. 98 Hurricanes with highest waves recorded (CZMR, 2006) ....................................... 99 Return values for hurricane wave heights in the SE sector of Saint Vincent........................................................................................................................ 99 Ancient habitation sites in the vicinity the Project................................................. 112

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Tab. 10: Tab. 11: Tab. 12: Tab. 13: Tab. 14: Tab. 15: Tab. 16: Tab. 17:

Population trends in census years 1960 to 2001.................................................. 127 Main settlements of the study area........................................................................ 128 Land use in the Project area .................................................................................. 131 Windward Highway ADT 2000 – Arnos Vale and Diamond................................. 146 Windward Highway ADT 2007 – E.T. Joshua Airport / Mt. PleasantStubbs ...................................................................................................................... 148 Windward Highway traffic forecast 2020 – Argyle Intl. Airport ............................ 148 Settlements located in/near to the future aircraft fly path .................................... 213 FAA noise and land use compatibility guidelines ................................................. 216

LIST OF FIGURES Fig. 1: Fig. 2: Fig. 3: Fig. 4: Fig. 5: Fig. 6: Fig. 7: Fig. 8: Fig. 9: Fig. 10: Fig. 11: Fig. 12: Fig. 13: Fig. 14: Fig. 15: Fig. 16: Fig. 17: Fig. 18: Fig. 19: IADC’s organisational chart ...................................................................................... 15 Alternative sites considered for a new International Airport in St. Vincent........... 23 Physical boundaries of the study area..................................................................... 30 Project location ......................................................................................................... 35 Project layout (CCOA S.A., 2007)............................................................................ 38 Proposed principal solution for the Yambou River crossing (CCOA S.A., 2007) .......................................................................................................................... 39 Windward Highway realignment............................................................................... 41 Typical cross-section of the runway......................................................................... 42 Estimated numbers of foreign workforce during the airport construction period.......................................................................................................................... 44 Geology of St. Vincent (Robertson, 2003) .............................................................. 64 Longitudinal cross section of the runway and underlying geology........................ 67 Average monthly rainfall recorded from 1979 to 2005 at E.T. Joshua Airport ......................................................................................................................... 71 Average monthly days of rainfall recorded 1979 – 2005 at E.T. Joshua Airport ......................................................................................................................... 72 Main vegetation types of St. Vincent prior to disturbance...................................... 82 Integrated Volcanic Hazard Map of St. Vincent .................................................... 104 Approximate location of cliff with petroglyph......................................................... 109 Potentially Affected Archaeological Sites .............................................................. 115 Planned Tourism Development Sites directly or indirectly affected by the Project. ..................................................................................................................... 126 Questionnaire to Argyle Residents and Owners................................................... 129

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Fig. 20: Fig. 21: Fig. 22: Fig. 23: Fig. 24: Fig. 25:

Schematic overview of expected Project-induced impacts on regional development and land use patterns....................................................................... 147 Proposed arrangement of culverts under the Yambou River .............................. 168 Sites proposed for archaeological excavations .................................................... 201 Effects of varying operating conditions on single event aircraft noise contours.................................................................................................................... 210 Approximate single event noise contours (65 dBA) for B 727-400 and B 747-400 aircrafts...................................................................................................... 212 Relocation preferences of affected households ................................................... 241

Abbreviations AC AD ADT AIDS asl BC BOD CCOA CEMP CO COD CR Cd Cu CWSA CZMS DB dBA E EBA EC$ ED ENE EIA Airport Company Anno Domini Average Daily Traffic Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrom above sea level before Christ biological oxygen demand Compania Contratista de Obras Para La Aviaçion Construction Environmental Management Plan Carbon Monoxide chemical oxygen demand critically endangered (as per IUCN Red List) mercury copper Central Water And Sewerage Authority Coastal Zone Management Study decibel A-weighted decibel scale East Endemic Bird Area Eastern Caribbean Dollar Environmental Department East North East Environmental Impact Assessment

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EMP ESU EU F FIDIC GEF GESCO GmbH GoSVG h ha Hg HILP HIV IADC ICAO ICOMOS IUCN JEMS km/h kt Mg MoCW MoHE MMM MoTW N NEMO NEMS NNE Nox NPA OECS

Environmental Management Plan Environmental Services Unit European Union Fahrenheit Féderation Internationale des Ingénieurs Conseils = International Federation of Consulting Enginees Global Environment Facility General Equipment Services Corporation Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (German, = Ltd.) Government of St. Vincent & The Grenadines hour hectar mercury Ministry of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Lands & Surveys & Physical Planning Human Immune Deficiency Virus International Airport Development Company International Civil Aviation Organisation International Council of Monuments and Sites International Union for the Conservation of Nature Junction / Glamorgan, Enhams, Mc Carthy & Surroundings Progressive Community Organisation kilometres per hour knot manganese Ministry of Communication and Works Ministry of Health And Environment Marshall, Macklin and Monaghan (Consulting firm from Canada) Ministry of Transport and Works nitrate National Emergency Management Organisation National Environmental Strategy and Action Plan North North East Nitrogen Dioxide National Parks Authority Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States

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OEMP OHSAS P Pb RoW s SGD SO2 STI SVG SVGNT TDH TDS THC TPH TSP UNDP WHO y Zn

Operational Environmental Management Plan Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series phospahate lead Right of Way seconds Saint George’s Declaration Sulfur Dioxide Sexually Transmitted Infections Saint Vincent & The Grenadines Saint Vincent & The Grenadines National Trust total dissolved hardness total dissolved solids Total Hydrocarbon Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons Total suspended particulate United Nations development Programme World Health Organisation year zinc

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

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1.
1.1

INTRODUCTION
Project History and Background Over the last four decades a number of studies were carried out on international airport development on mainland St. Vincent. The two most recent studies are: • • St. Vincent Airport Development, Pre-Investment Study; Inception Report, by KOCKS Consult GmbH (Germany), 1993; and St. Vincent Airport Development, Phase 1, Final Report by Marshall, Macklin and Monaghan (Canada), 1998. All of the conducted studies show a recurring theme of the technical unsuitability and lack of financial and economic viability for the expansion of the existing E.T. Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale. Equally, the studies have opted for the preference of building a completely new airport at another location. In examining the issue over the years, Consultants have evaluated alternative locations, including Langley Park, Brighton, Diamond, Kitchen, Villa, Buccament and Argyle (see chapter 2 of this report). The KOCKS Study of 1993 examined the feasibility of three sites: Arnos Vale, Kitchen and Argyle. The study concluded that Argyle was the most economically viable option. In the 1998 feasibility study done by Marshall, Macklin and Monaghan (MMM) several options were evaluated for expanding E.T. Joshua and for the construction of a new facility at Argyle. MMM did not evaluate Kitchen, since that site was shown by KOCKS not to be economically feasible. After review of the numerous studies and expert advice and after careful consideration, the Government of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (GoSVG) has chosen Argyle as the location for the new International Airport. In 2004 the GoSVG decided to proceed with the plans for constructing an international airport at Argyle (the Project). Following to agreements on technical assistance made in 2005 with the Governments of Venezuela and Cuba airport experts started with the design of airside facilities using the following design criteria:

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The new International Airport shall consist of facilities related to the area of movement within the aerodrome. Traffic projections for 2015 indicate 737,000 passenger movements and between 48,850 and 76,600 aircraft operations annually;

The selected design is in accordance with the established guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 14 1, with the operation of aircrafts like the B747-400 series as per Airport Reference Code 4E.

1.2 1.2.1

Project Management and Implementation Arrangements Project Management The International Airport Development Company The overall responsibility for Project preparation and management lies with the state-owned International Airport Development Company (IADC). The IADC was formed in 2004 to facilitate all arrangements for the financing, construction and operation of the new international airport at Argyle. The Board of Directors consists of fourteen members. The IADC office is located at the site in Argyle. The IADC closely collaborates with two other state-owned companies to facilitate, promote and execute the Project: the National Properties Limited and the National Investment Promotions. All three companies function under the direction of the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Planning. The structure of the IADC is shown in the Organisational Chart below. The Chief Advisor The Government of Cuba has dispatched an airport expert as full time Chief Advisor for the planning, preparation and implementation of the complete airside component of the Project. The Chief Advisor acts as a coordinator between the GoSVG / the IADC and the Governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

1

See also chapter 2.7.3

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Board of Directors

Engineer (Consultant)

Chairman / CEO

Legal Advisor (Corporate Secretary)

Project Coordinator

Security Officer

Finance Officer

Administration & Projects Officer

Engineer

Junior Administrator Administrative Assistant

Accounts Clerk

Driver / Office Attendant House Keeper

Fig. 1:

IADC’s organisational chart

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1.2.2

Project Implementation The Project will be implemented with substantial support from the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, who are responsible for the overall design of the airside facilities and will collaborate on carrying out the earthwork component of the Project. An Airport Construction Advisor from Cuba (the Chief Advisor) assists with the overall coordination of activities between the Governments of Cuba, Venezuela and SVG. The Government of Taiwan will provide funding for the design and construction of landside facilities and buildings including the terminal building, equipment and parking area. Construction of the airside facilities (runway, taxiways and apron - including the construction of the Yambou River crossing and drainage structures) will not be carried out by a contractor, but by Cuban and Venezuelan workers. There will thus be no contractual tools like clauses or technical specifications to ensure that environmental mitigation measures proposed as a result of this EIA would be ultimately implemented or environmental quality and safety standards complied with during construction. Therefore decisions concerning the implementation of proposed mitigation measures and recommendations lie within the responsibility of the IADC. As indicated in chapter 10.9 there may be substantial institutional and Agency support. The construction of the landside facilities (terminal, tower, hangars, parking and circulation facilities) may or may not be internationally tendered and operation is likely to be organised with foreign technical support. Due to these specific framework conditions effective management arrangements will need to be put in place to ensure that the Project will eventually be implemented and operated in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.

1.3

Project Implementation Schedule When this report was written preliminary design documentation was available for the airside facilities (runway, taxiway and apron). The design for the other airport

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facilities (terminal, hangars, parking, warehouse and associated facilities) had not yet been assigned. Earthworks for the construction of the runway are expected to commence in July 2008. During the first 12 months of the construction phase the plan is to concentrate on the first kilometre in the south of the planned runway. It is important to note that for this section in the south all required land has already been acquired. The subsequent sections will be built from the second year on and will last 3 years in total. The realignment of a 2.8 km section of the Windward Highway started in September 2007. The planned construction period is 13 months so that motorists will be able to use the new section when earthworks will move to the second kilometre of the runway by the end of 2008 or early 2009. A new access road will be needed in the south of the planned runway to access land on the seaward side of the airport (see chapter 4.3 of this report). This road is presently at the design stage and will be built during the first 12 months of earth works. Land acquisition started in July 2006. The current state of negotiations is described in chapter 11 of this report. The opening of Argyle International Airport is scheduled for 2011.

1.4

Project Cost The IADC has estimated the total cost of the Project at 502 million EC$ / 186 million US$. The breakdown of this cost under broad headings is provided in the following table.

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Tab. 1: Item

Cost estimate Argyle International Airport US$ million 39.2 68.1 15.3 6.4 14.1 20.4 22.7 186 EC$ million 106 183.8 41.3 17.3 38.1 55.1 61.3 502

Land acquisition Earthworks / site works Runway, taxiway and apron Roads and support facilities Terminal building and control tower Project delivery / management Contingency TOTAL (rounded)
Source: IADC, December 2007

1.5 1.5.1

Need and Justification of the Project Previous and Current Trends in the National Economy Agriculture In the past three decades the agricultural sector and in particular the banana industry has immensely contributed to the economic development of the country, providing income, employment and improved welfare for the Vincentian society. During the 1990ies, however, the sector’s relative contribution to the GDP formation and export revenues has significantly declined. Between 1997 and 2004, for example, agriculture’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been 10 to 13%, compared to an average of 19% in the previous 20 years. This overall trend was closely linked to a decline in the performance of the banana industry, which since 1993 has struggled to adjust to continuously changing market conditions in Europe. Despite joint attempts of the GoSVG and producers to restructure the Industry and to make it more efficient and competitive, the forces of globalisation and economic liberalisation are forcing radical changes in the economy. The lack of successful and timely economic adjustments has contributed to economic and social dislocation, most acutely among rural communities with limited access to alternative economic opportunities. The decline of the agricultural sector has badly affected rural employment and income, export earnings and in-

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vestment in agriculture and has significantly contributed to increases in rural poverty in the country. Between 1990 and 2003 the numbers of registered banana growers have declined from an estimated 7,800 to 2,309. In the same period the number of workers depending fully or partly on bananas have fallen from about 23,000 to about 7,000. Following to the introduction of the EUREP-GAP2 the number of growers producing for export is expected to decline further. Export earnings and volumes dropped from EC$ 89.5m in 1991 to EC$ 28.51m in 2003 and from 62,878 t to 22,558 t respectively. Tourism The Tourism sector contributes approximately 15% to the GDP. Tourist receipts contributed US$ 81.3 million to the economy in 2002. In 2002, cruise ship arrivals fell by 14.8% compared to a fall of 11.2% in 2001. Arrivals by yachts and boats dropped by 5% in 2002, following a 21.2% growth in 2001. In recent times the tourism sector has taken on greater importance especially with the threats faced by the agricultural sector in general and in particular bananas. This sector is critical to the advancement of the necessary and desirable strategic objective of economic diversification. The emerging prominence of the services sector and particularly the growing influence of tourism are features of the structural changes of the local economy over the past decade. The GoSVG’s programme for the Tourism Sector is enshrined in the National Tourism Sector Strategic Plan 2000 2006. During the short to medium term, it is anticipated that the challenges facing the sector will intensify, requiring much needed transformation if the industry is to maintain a competitive edge necessary for its survival3.

2 3

Euro-Retailer Produce Workig Group – Good Agricultural Practices Delegation of the European Commission in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; Office of the National Authorising Officer in SVG (2004): Cooperation Between the EU and SVG; Joint Annual Report 2004

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Industry The industrial sector employs around 8% of the workforce in SVG. Industrial activity currently contributes to about 10% to the GDP and is primarily geared on agricultural processing. The main products are flour, rice, animal feeds and package beans and other dried grain, followed by pasta, aerated beverages, stout beer and malt, rum, arrowroot starch, milk, fruit juices and others. The main nonfood industries produce concrete blocks and quarry products, steel rods, galvanized sheeting and plastic tubes and pipes plus a wide range of craft apparel and texture products, cardboard cartons, plastic cups, bags and others4.

1.5.2

Need of the Project in the Macroeconomic Context The overall objective of the GoSVG is to reach high levels of sustainable growth and development while reducing poverty levels and raising social consciousness and employment levels. To achieve this objective the GoSVG has proposed to implement a program of economic diversification and measures aiming at the increase of export levels with a renewed emphasis on social development. Tourism has the potentials of being the greatest foreign exchange earner of the country. According to the conviction of the GoSVG the requisites of economic diversification and regional and international competitiveness demand an international airport allowing for direct access from and to the markets in North America, Canada and Europe. According to the results of the MMM feasibility study (1998) it should be noted, however, that examples of other locations in the region indicate that this expansion will only occur if the appropriately priced tourism infrastructure is also available.

4

Source: as above.

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2.
2.1

ALTERNATIVES
Site Alternatives The earliest steps relating to new airport development in St. Vincent date back to 1974 when three alternative sites where considered5. As any of the alternative sites considered would have required costly excavations it was concluded that Arnos Vale should be further developed. In the following decade a number of studies followed, which mainly examined operational improvements and upgrading options at Arnos Vale. In 1993 a summary evaluation of all previously considered sites6 was carried out as shown in Figure 2. The conclusion of this latter study was that out of the seven options considered three would merit further consideration as feasible development alternatives, viz the upgrading of Arnos Vale and new sites at Kitchen and Argyle. The MMM report of 1998 looked into the different basic options at Arnos Vale and Argyle in more detail without further consideration of the Kitchen site. In addition to the technical analysis the study also evaluated the market possibilities and the economic implications of the various alternatives. The alternatives are based on a non-precision, instrumental approach, as well as on passenger figure of 218,000 in 1997. A. A.1 A.2 A.3 A.4 E.T. Joshua Airport (Arnos Vale); Terminal renovation only for 360,000 passengers/year; New terminal, idem; New terminal for 513,000 passengers/year and a new 6,500 ft / 1,980 m runway; Terminal renovation for 513,000 passengers/year and a new 6,500 ft / 1,980 m runway. None of the ‘Arnos Vale alternatives’ that were considered includes the removal of the existing obstacles (surrounding hills, stadium and others) which would be required to comply with the recommendations of ICAO Annex 14.

5 6

Civil Aviation Authority (UK), 1974 KOCKS Consult GmbH, 1993

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B. B.1 B.2 B.3

Argyle Site New terminal for 513,000 passengers/yr and a 5,500-ft/ 1.676 m runway; New terminal for 557,000 passengers/yr and a 7,000-ft/ 2,133 m runway; New terminal for 737,000 passengers/yr and a 9,000 ft/ 2,743 m runway.

The study concluded that from a financial point of view airport expansion cannot be justified and that only investments in operational improvements at E.T. Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale (Alternative A.1), if the inhabiting debt would have to be served. If this alternative is not pursued the maximum benefits would result from Alternative B.3. However it was also stated that the financial analysis does not incorporate the potential for additional revenue generated from passengers, or the potential from airport commercial operations. This potential would be greater at the Argyle site than at Arnos Vale and these additional benefits could be substantial. In 2004 the GoSVG took the final decision to site the new international airport at Argyle on the basis of Alternative B.3.

2.2

Design Alternatives During preliminary design of the Argyle International Airport a design team from Cuba has studied four different alternatives. However, international standard design requirements together with the issue of crosswinds and the given topographical conditions limit the development of principle design alternatives for a 2,745 m runway at Argyle. The alternatives that have been studied mainly had the objective of identifying the optimal horizontal and longitudinal alignment. The result of that study was the selection of ‘Alternative 3’, which is explained in more detail below. The preliminary design solution proposed for the crossing of the Yambou River was a TechSpan bridge. Details of that design solution were not available to the

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study team, but an important aspect was that this initially proposed alternative would have allowed to maintain the natural the bed of the river 7.

Fig. 2: Alternative sites considered for a new International Airport in St. Vincent8

7

Note: this issue is relevant in the context of tri-tri migration discussed in Chapter 6.5. and Appendix III of this report. 8 KOCKS Consult GmbH, 1993.

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The detailed design for the Yambou River crossing presented in mid January 2008 consisted of a system of parallel prefabricated culverts, which is explained in Chapter 4.3 and shown in Figure 6.

2.3

Selected Option Compared to the other alternatives studied at the Argyle site the main advantages of the selected Alternative 3 are: • • • The entire runway is located on the land; The runway is more or less perpendicular to the Yambou River; There is an advantageous relation between cut and fill volumes.

The disadvantage is the still relatively large volume of excavation works, but this applies to all alternatives.

2.4

Without-Project Alternative The without-Project scenario implies that the existing E.T. Joshua Airport would have to be extended. According to the conclusions of previous studies this option, however, is not financially or economically justifiable and considered as technically unfeasible. Due to various site-related factors an expanded airport at Arnos Vale would not gain classification as an international airport under the ICAO and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations and standards. While it would be possible to extend the existing runway to the required length, the width required for an international airport strip cannot be achieved at this site. The existing restrictions on landing and takeoff are impossible to alter in Arnos Vale, as none of the required changes at Arnos Vale would alleviate the problems related to downwind-takeoff. In practice and because of the prevailing tailwinds jet aircraft and even some turboprop aircraft would have to operate at reduced passenger and payload levels, even if the runway would be extended.

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Further problems related to Arnos Vale would be but are not limited to the following: • • Requirement to close down E.T. Joshua Airport for about 12 months during construction; Need to demolish several vital buildings to provide the required 200m long clear zone around the airstrip, including Arnos Vale Cricket Pavillon & Sport Complex; • • Significant earthworks at Sion Hill Bay area; Requirement for establishing long-term data on wave action, soundings and sea bottom investigations in the Arnos Vale / Greathead Bay for the seaward extension of the runway.

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3.
3.1

METHODOLOGY
General The EIA for this Project was conducted during the period September 24 2007 to May 2008. During the initial phase and based on a list of contacts provided by IADC extensive consultations were held with representatives of concerned government agencies and NGOs. Further contacts were identified during these initial consultations and discussions held with members of the affected public throughout the conduct of the study (see List of Contacts in Appendix IX). The findings presented in this EIA statement are based on professional judgment, stakeholder and expert consultation, literature research and internet research. Information on the legal and institutional framework was obtained from various existing reports9. Regarding the flora and fauna and the marine environment in the Project’s possible area of influence no relevant previous environmental information was available. Therefore selected field investigations were carried out to identify possible sensitive receptors and establish a sound basis for the assessment of potential impacts. The potential magnitude or significance of operational impacts (e.g. air and water pollution, waste management etc.) depends on technical design, decisions on adequate technical equipment and management arrangements, which have not yet been taken. To support further planning and decision-making recommendations have been made on these issues and a conceptual operational EMP (OEMP) provided. This conceptual OEMP provides guidance for developing a corporate environmental policy and the role of a future Airport Company or Airport Management Authority for adopting sustainable environmental management practices.

9

primarily from the 2007 Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework Review for Protected Areas Management in SVG, the report prepared by Ivor Jackson for the National Parks Project (2004) and the Joint Annual Report on Cooperation between the EU and SVG (2004).

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Lists of all written sources of information and of people contacted are provided in Appendices IX and X.

3.2

The Study Area The area that will be impacted by the Project during construction and operation does not coincide with its ultimate physical boundaries. The type and range of various expected direct and indirect environmental impacts therefore need to be fully understood at the earliest possible stages of the EIA study. Based on the results of the initial scoping of potential environmental impacts and the identification of sensitive receptors we have identified the following geographical areas likely to be affected at the various stages of the Project: • During construction temporary and permanent impacts will occur both on- and off-site. The most direct physical impact will be on-site in the area of the actual physical interventions. To ensure that impacts related to the physical presence of the airport in the receiving environment will be appropriately addressed the study area includes further areas to the north, east and west of the Right of Way (RoW). In the East the study area extends down to the coast including the marine environment of that section of the coastline. In the West the realigned Windward Highway forms the outer boundaries of this study. The Northern and Southern boundaries of the study area the new primary school in Peruvian Vale and Stubbs cliff respectively (Fig. 3 A). Direct off-site impact will result from material extraction and the transport and perhaps the temporary storage of these construction materials. Therefore Rabacca quarry has been included in the study area (Fig. 3 B)10.

10

Note: other sources of material may be the quarry at Layou on the leeward side of the island or any local deposits of suitable quality. The concrete sources of the various construction materials material had not yet been determined by the time this study was completed.

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During operation of the airport most impacts will be confined to the area that will be affected by construction impacts. This statement however, does not apply to off-site noise impacts, which are separately discussed. Further off-site operational impact may affect legally protected migratory and resident species of birds at Milligan Cay, which lies in the direct approach corridor of aircraft (Fig. 3 C).

Futher important aspects of the Project are induced development, i.e. the expected impact on the socio-economic framework conditions and medium to long-term development perspectives on mainland St. Vincent and potential cumulative impacts. In the context of a predominantly rural landscape and so far little exploited tourism development potential economic growth will almost inevitably induce changes in land use and the social and socio-economic environment. Induced development is expected to be felt island-wide, but this effect cannot be quantified with a reasonable degree of certainty in the frame of this study. The present report therefore provides a qualitative description of the expected development scenario at the local, regional and national level and highlight the potential induced effects of such development on the natural resources and the human and socio-economic environment. Based on this scenario some proposals of strategic nature are proposed to ensure the sustainability of the development and thus the long-term success of the Project (Fig. 3 D).

In the light of the above the boundaries of the study area vary according to the impacts expected at different phases of the Project. The broad physical boundaries of the study area during the various Project phases are shown in Fig. 3 A - C.

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Fig. 3:

Physical boundaries of the study area

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3.3

Limitations of the Study As mentioned earlier some Project information and planning and background data were not finally prepared or decided during the conduct of this study. However available documents in connection with data provided particularly by the IADC and the Cuban Chief Advisor rendered it possible to finalize the EIA report prior to the beginning of construction activities. Therefore it will be possible to implement mitigation and monitoring measures timely. Tab. 2: Information gaps and uncertainties
Required information Final Master Plan, discussed with and approved by local authorities Draft detailed design for RWY, TWYs and apron, including earthworks for landfill, detailed design report and drawings11 Current status Strategy for the preparation of an Airport masterplan will be developed by the IADC. Preliminary design and report; draft detailed design (drawings) in Spanish language from mid January 2008, shortly before the finalization of this study; Conceptual design

Issue / Item Airport Master Plan Airside facilities

Landside facilities

Draft detailed design for landside development and facilities, design report and drawings, including demand and space requirements6

Storm water drain- Draft detailed design for the storm water drainage of the entire airport, age design report with calculations and drawings6 Wind data Summary of wind monitoring data at the site over a minimum period of 1 year, ideally over 3 years as requested by ICAO Air traffic analysis and forecast for passengers / cargo demand and aircraft movements including aircraft mix for a development period of 25 years

No data until mid January 2008, thereafter detailed design (drawings) in Spanish language only Monthly monitoring data from near the Project site / IADC office over a 6 months’ period (3-2006 to 8-2006) Not yet available.

Air transport demand

Aviation fuel trans- Technical analysis, feasibility study port to Argyle of realistic alternatives

Expert pool currently preparing feasible solution.

11

As per EIA guidelines 2007 provided by the IADC

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Issue / Item Design of Yambou River crossing; culverts Environmental baseline data

Required information Hydrological reference data used in the design; proposed mode of construction, materials, time table etc. Water quality Yambou River

Current status Not yet available.

Water quality measurements to be carried out as a mitigation and monitoring measure. Air quality measurements to be carried out as a mitigation and monitoring measure. In case that no national standards are available WHO or European Union standards shall be used.

Air quality measurements

Environmental Standards

Environmental Standards for Air Quality and Water Quality

Above standing table provides an overview with regard to information that were not yet available in the course of EIA preparation. With the design further developed there will be a follow up by the IADC.

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4.
4.1

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Review of Basic Documents This Project description is based on the review of the following documents: 1. St. Vincent Airport Development, Pre-Investment Study, Inception Report, by KOCKS Consult GmbH (1993) This report examined the feasibility of different sites for airport development on St. Vincent. The report concluded that Argyle should be studied further, as this site was identified to be the economically most viable alternative. 2. St. Vincent Airport Development, Phase 1, Final Report by Marshall Macklin and Monaghan (MMM, 1998) This report again looked at different options for airport development. The focus of this study was a comparison of improvements at the existing E.T. Joshua Airport in Arnos Vale with the development of a new site at Argyle. 3. Concept Design International Airport of St. Vincent, CCOA S.A. (2006) This set of documents consists mainly of technical drawings together with explanatory reports regarding wind, topography and ground/soil conditions. The technical drawings include a General Layout Plan No: VPG-012 showing the runway, taxiways and aprons on the airside and the proposed landside facilities, i.e. passenger terminal, hangars, fire brigade etc. 4. Argyle International Airport, Preliminary Design Report, CCOA S.A., 2-2007 This preliminary design report mainly concerns the construction of airside facilities for reference aircraft code 4E, i.e. B747-400, with a runway of 2,743 m length, a width of 45 m and a bearing capacity of 2/20 pcn. The runway strip is 150 m for non-instrument approach according to ICAO Annex 14.

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When analysing those documents it becomes obvious that a Master Plan according to IATA and ICAO recommendations is missing. This Master Plan would usually show a concluding Airport Development over a period of 5 years and would then have to be regularly updated in steps of five years. The Concept Design (3) and the Preliminary Design Report (4) do not consider all relevant functional requirements for an International Airport as are mentioned in Report (2). This report does not show any development beyond the year 2015 or any further possible landside developments of airport affine commercial and industrial developments, nor does it consider adequate landside access for vehicles and transportation. The traffic forecast in report (2) needs to be updated and the option for further improvements of the runway strip should be reconsidered. Additional Project information was received during consultations with the Cuban Chief Advisor. The draft detailed design of the airside facilities was obtained towards the end of conducting this study and most information was in Spanish language only.

4.2

Project Location The Project site is located in the southeast of mainland St. Vincent in the Mt. Pleasant – Argyle area. The site is close to the rural settlements / villages of Stubbs in the south, Calder in the west and Peruvian Vale and Biabou in the north. The proposed runway is almost south-north (02/20) orientated stretching between Stubbs Hill in the South and the Escape area near to the RC church in the north. In the south (Stubbs Bay) the distance from the coast is about 75 m. In the north the runway will end immediately at the shore, where some limited land reclamation is required (see Fig. 4). The largest distance to the Sea is in the area of Mount Pleasant where the shore is about 600 m to the east of the runway edge

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Fig. 4:

Project location

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4.3

Project Layout The Project has been designed in accordance with the established guidelines of the ICAO12 Annex 14, with the operation of aircrafts like the B 747-400 series as per Airport Reference Code 4E. The general layout, including cut and fill areas, and the relocated Yambou River are shown in Figure 5. When conducting this EIA a conceptual design was available for the following Project components: • • • • • • Landside facilities (see below); Control tower; Navigation and safety aids; Emergency services; Land reclamation in the northeast of the site (end of runway); In terms of physical land space the Project is expected to consume about 152 ha of land. The alignment of Project will sever the existing Windward Highway, which is the only access to the north eastern part of the island. The relocation of a 2.8 km section of the Highway is presently under construction. This ‘Argyle Realignment’ will not only provide the continuity of this transport link, but will eventually be the prime means of access to and from the airport site once it is operational. For this project a separate EIA of the realignment has been conducted13. The realignment of the new section of the Windward Highway is shown in Figure 7. In the Mt. Pleasant area design for a new road is currently underway to provide access to seaside homeowners and a local recreational area (see chapter 7.4). This road project however, is not assessed in the frame of the present EIA. At the time of conducting this EIA the design of airside facilities (runway, taxiway and apron) were at the preliminary stage:

12 13

Refer to chapter 5.7 for further information on ICAO and ICAO Annexes Windward Highway Argyle Realignment. Mouchel Parkman 2007

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Runway The instrumental non-precision approach runway of the Argyle International Airport will be 2,743.00 m long and 45.00 m wide. The runway strip will therefore be restricted to 2 x 75 m instead of 2 x 150 m as for an instrument approach runway. Shoulders on each side of the runway will be 7.5 m wide. The stop ways will be 60 m long on either side of the runway and the runway strips located beyond the stop way will be 60.00 m long and 150.00m wide on either side. A typical crosssection of the runway is provided in Figure 8. Taxiways Two taxiways will connect the runway to the apron at an angle of 45°. The width of these taxiways will be 23.00 m each. The shoulders will be 10.50 m wide. Aprons The passenger apron will have five aircraft stands as follows: two B 747-400, one A 320; one B 727-200 and one ATR 72. The overall dimensions will be 220.00 x 140 m and a 7.5 m separation between aircraft stands. There is a proposal to have a combined additional apron for both Cargo and General Aviation. This may have to be reconsidered when Cargo Development will be analysed in more detail beyond 2015 as part of the Master Plan configuration. Yambou River Crossing According to the latest available drawings (see Figures 5 and 6) the Yambou River will be relocated about 130 m in a southern direction over a length of more than 400 m and cross under the runway at about km 2+250. The structure proposed to convey the effluent of the Yambou River under the runway consists of seven parallel metallic circular culverts (ARMCO) of 4.45 m diameter each. The gradient is indicated at 3 % with the culverts crossing the runway under a 90° angle. According to drawing HS-DP-21 shown in Figure 6 the principal proposed solution for the in- and outlet structures would consist of rectangular reinforced concrete channels and side walls consisting of gabions. At the bottom of the rectangular reinforced concrete channels concrete blocks would be placed in the inflow zone to dissipate the energy of the flowing water. According to the comments on the drawing, the gabion walls will be adapted to the existing terrain.

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Fig. 5:

Project layout14 (CCOA S.A., 2007)

14

Note: the upper part of this figure shows the southern section and the lower part the following northern section of the runway. The map is attached in A 3 Format at a scale of 1:8,000. The original maps are available with notations in Spanish language only.

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Fig. 6: Proposed principal solution for the Yambou River crossing (CCOA S.A., 2007)15

15

Note: The map with notations translated in English is attached to the report at a scale of 1:1,500

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The proposed length of the culvert is equivalent to the width of the runway (171 m). This implies that at both ends of the culvert a vertical wall of considerable height (corresponding to the distance between the surface of the runway and the original terrain) has to be constructed. Proposed Drainage System A total of 5 catchment areas drain through the area of the future airport. Main water course is the Yambou River with a length of 11 km, an average gradient of 4% and a basin of approximately 20 km2. The catchment is characterized by thick vegetation and areas of large amounts of accumulated water. Permeability of the sand-limey-clayey soil is very low. Ground water detected that is presumed to have come from very localized infiltrations, the water table is influenced by the level of the sea. To create the almost level surface of the runway a series of cuts and embankments are required. Water detained at the feet of embankments and flowing over cuts needs to be collected and conveyed safely away from the structures. Generally the drainage system consists of ditches and canals running in parallel to the runway. These collect water at the feet of embankments and water flowing over cuts and conduct it to 2 culverts and to the Yambou River that cross under the runway. The designers decided to use metallic culverts (ARMCO) with asphalt protection as these are cheaper and easier to transport than other alternatives. In cut areas, west of the runway, ditches that conduct the water to the collector canals are placed on berms. Collectors and canals parallel to the runway are connected via man holes to culverts that convey the run-off to the downstream side of the runway. Generally the gradient of canals and ditches is equal to that of the runway. In the embankment areas (west of the runway) and at the foot of the slopes canals will be constructed from soil reinforced with geo-textile and geo-membrane of High Density Polyethylen (HDPE). In the outflow areas of the culverts erosion protected channels (granular material 300 to 500 mm diameter) will be constructed. The drainage of the platform (terminal area) will be by means of drain pipes that collect water and convey it to culverts. The in- and outlets of the culverts will consist either of rectangular concrete channels, gabion retaining

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walls, or a combination of both. The bottoms of these canal will be protected from erosion by either lean concrete, granular material of appropriate size or a combination of both. Where required, concrete blocks to dissipate the energy of the flowing water.

Fig. 7:

Windward Highway realignment16

16

Source: Mouchel Parkman Ltd. (2007)

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Fig. 8:

Typical cross-section of the runway

Landside Facilities The design of the landside facilities of the airport (terminal building with associated parking and circulation facilities) will be in accordance with IATA standards. According to the IADC and the Chief Advisor further associated facilities will thus comprise: • • • • • • • • • Tower; Cargo facilities; Fire station; Small aircraft hangars; Liquid waste disposal site; Solid waste area; Fuel storage area; Water storage area; Emergency power supply.

When writing this report a major open question was how to transport the required volumes of aviation fuel to Argyle in a socially, environmentally and economically viable way. The various options for the transportation of aviation fuel to the new airport are briefly described and discussed in chapter 10.2.3 of this report.

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4.4

Traffic Forecast The traffic projections for 2015 indicate made in the MMM study (1998) 737,000 passenger movements and between 48,850 and 76,600 aircraft operations annually. This forecast will have to be updated and developed further beyond the year 2015 within the frame of an adequate Master Plan, providing the framework for the future development of Argyle International Airport based on expected future traffic demands. The Master Plan should retain flexibility in order to meet changing conditions associated with airport operations and regional developments. Consequently the Master Plan should be reviewed at least every 5 years so to ensure that the airport and its environmental surrounding might develop with a minimum of conflicts keeps abreast of future changes. The missing road traffic forecast should also be part of the Master Plan. It will be especially important to also consider passenger access to and from the Airport and all the servicing required for operation, i.e. fuel, catering, waste, etc. Space for the development of airport affine businesses, including adequate accessibility will have to be considered, as they are not included in any document of the reviewed documents. There will be requirements for areas of development from diverse origin, i.e. travel agencies, car rental, airlines, hotel accommodation, business and commercial centres etc. These areas will need to be considered when looking into the future of the Argyle International Airport. As the given topgraphical conditions of the area limit the availability and development of land in the surroundings of the airport planning decisions will need to be made at a possibly early stage based on facts and not in response to pressure from other demands.

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4.5

Project Implementation Process Tendering and Execution of Works According to the IADC there will be no tendering process for the execution of construction works. Earthworks for the construction of the runway were initially scheduled to start by late November 2007, but did not commence by the time this study was completed (May 2008). Most of these works will be executed by workforce from Cuba or Venezuela or by workers from both countries. During the 3 years’ period scheduled for the construction of the airside facilities the peak demand for workforce will be between about 50 people at the beginning and a maximum of 140 workers in 2010. Accommodation will be at 2 sites in Argyle, i.e. an average 60 persons at the P’Tani Resort and 40 to 50 in an old hotel located next to the RC church in Argyle. During peak periods earthworks will be executed round the clock, 7 days a week. The following figure indicates how the average number of foreign workforce at the site will vary over the construction period from 2008 to 201117. It is understood that local workforce will mainly be hired for security and trucking services. 2008 2009 2010 2011

140 100 50 runway and landside facilities earthworks Fig. 9: Estimated numbers of foreign workforce during the airport construction period 100

17

Source of figures: Chief Advisor

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Earthworks According to the latest estimates (end of November 2007) Project implementation will require earthworks in the order of (figures rounded): • • Cut Fill 4,760,000 m³ 3,755,000 m³18.

The surface that will be affected by earthworks is in the order of 8,680 ha. Additional earth movements of however relatively small scale will be associated to the construction of parking facilities outside the airport terrain. The above figures on cut relate to the volume of materials in their natural position and state. Geo-technical analysis indicates that a compaction-coefficient of 1.3 can be achieved, so that after allowing for topsoil stripping and replacement the final mass balance between cut and fill will be nearly zero. Topsoil in the study area is 0.50 m thick on average 19, which means that a total of approximately 470,000 m³ of topsoil will need to be temporaryly stored during earthworks and embankment construction and replacement. These 470,000 m³ are included in the above figures on total earthworks. In addition to the above-mentioned volumes there will be an excess of approximately 12,000 m³ of fill and some undefined volumes of topsoil originating from the presently ongoing relocation of the Windward Highway. This material has been stockpiled at various locations in the study area and will need to be dealt with in the frame of this Project in an appropriate way.

18 19

Cuban Chief Advisor, personal communication,December 2007 Source: geo-technical report, 2006

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4.6

Construction Materials According to the Chief Advisor the airside pavement areas will be constructed as follows: • • • The runway will be in asphalt paving with touch-down areas in concrete; The taxiways will be in asphalt paving; The apron will be in concrete paving

Any more detailed information on pavement structures for asphalt or concrete paving is not yet available, therefore any detailed calculation on materials required are not possible. Assuming that concrete and asphalt paving will be approximately 30 cm thick, the requirements for aggregates20 for runway, taxiways and apron are in the range of 40 to 50,000 m³. The ultimate source for these materials had not been determined by the time this report was completed. According to the IADC very good rocks can be found at the quarry at Rabacca North of Georgetown, but the required selective process would be very costly. Another potential source for hard aggregates may be the quarry at Layou on the leeward side of the island, but due to the distance to the site this source would also be very expensive. Some potential local sources of material have been identified close to the furture airport site during the relocation of the Windward Highway in the area northwest of the RC church. These materials would have to be carefully tested to ensure that the required properties (e.g. hardness, flakyness, chemical properties) would be met and sufficient material would be available. In the worst case, however, material for the upper layer of the airside facilities may even have to be imported. Base material for the construction of verges and taxiways may be obtained from the existing quarry on Rabacca River. Materials from Rabacca would be transported to Argyle on the recently rehabilitated Windward Highway over a distance

20

aggregate is a collective term for mineral materials such as sand, gravel and crushed stone that are used with a binding medium (such as water, bitumen, cement, lime, etc.) to form compound materials (such as asphalt concrete, and portland cement concrete). Aggregate is also used for base and sub base courses for both flexible and rigid pavements. Natural aggregates are generally extracted from larger rock formations through an open excavation (quarry). Extracted rock is typically reduced to usable sizes by mechanical crushing.

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of about 19 km. On this route trucks will have to pass through Georgetown (town passage: ~ 2km). Sand required for the construction of airside and public facilities needs to have certain chemical properties. Sand dredged from the Sea or local beaches does not have these properties and is environmentally unacceptable. Therefore sand for the Project will also be obtained from the official mining site on the Rabacca River, which is managed by the GESCO. Statements on the quantities of sand required for the Project cannot be made at this point of time. Construction water will be required for the compaction of fill material, dust abatement and concrete production and vehicle workshops etc.). This water will be obtained from the Yambou River, as this is the only source of reliable and sufficient flow in the area. Cement will be imported.

4.7

Construction Equipment According to the Chief Advisor construction equipment will be second hand purchased in the United States. Transport from he US to Saint Vincent will be in containers by ship. This issue is environmentally relevant, as used imported construction equipment may result in the introduction of invasive species, that could be carried in any soil or residue attached to the equipment (see chapter 10.3.3).

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5.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

5.1

International and Regional Environmental Policy St. Vincent and the Grenadines has ratified several international environmental agreements and Conventions, none of which, however, plays a substantial role in the context of the present Project. At the regional level the GoSVG has committed itself to the Principles for Environmental Sustainability in the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) that are laid down in the Saint George’s Declaration (SGD) of 2001. The 21 principles contained in the SGD place environmental management as a cornerstone of sustainable development, and OECS Member States have agreed to utilize these principles in the governance of national affairs. Most of these principles are directly relevant to the operations of many of the Ministries in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The development of a National Environmental Management Strategy and Action Plan (NEMS) is the mechanism for national expression of environmental programming in support of those sustainable development strategies. The NEMS 2004-2006 for SVG was completed in 2004 through a process of district and sectoral consultations and after a review of key policies and programmes and feedback from a National Consultation on the draft NEMS. The overall process was coordinated by the Environmental Services Unit (ESU), especially local publicity on the NEMS and community consultations, with inputs from the National Environmental Advisory Board. An update of the NEMS is currently underway.

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In designing and implementing the present Project and conducting the this EIA the most relevant of the 21 ‘major environmental principles’ of the NEMS are to: • • • • • • • • Foster sustainable improvement in the quality of life (No. 1); Integrate social, economic and environmental considerations into National development policies, plans and programmes (No. 2); Ensure meaningful participation by civil society in decision making (No. 4); Prevent and manage the causes and impacts of disaster (No. 9); Prevent and control pollution and manage waste (No. 10); Ensure the sustainable use of natural resources (No. 11); Protect cultural and natural heritage (No. 12); Protect and conserve biological diversity (No. 13).

At present SVG lacks a national land policy, although a draft National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) was prepared in 2001. The plan was intended to set out appropriate policies and strategies that would promote sustainable integrated national development through judicious management of the spatial environment (UNDP/GEF 2007). In November 2007 the Ministry of Housing, Informal Human Settlements; Lands & Surveys and Physical Planning (HILP) has started the process of finalizing the NPDP, which is expected for late 2008.

5.2

Environmental Protection Legislation Legislative acts dealing with the protection of the physical and human environment are: • • • • • • The Town and Country Planning Act No. 45 of 1992; The Central Water & Sewerage Act of 1992; The Waste Management Act , No. 31 of 2000; The Environmental Services Act, No. 14, of 1991; The Environmental Health Services Act, No. 15 of 1991; and The Noise Control Act, 1988.

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The Town and Country Planning Act (TCP legislation act 45 of 1992) makes provisions for the orderly and progressive development of land and the proper planning of town and country areas, as well as for the control of development. Section 29 (1) of the Act specifies that ‘the Board may by notice require an EIA to be submitted to it (2) in such form and contain such information as may be prescribed’. EIA regulations or other procedures to implement the various provisions of the Act, however, do not exist. Land management and development is therefore an ad-hoc process and largely sector-driven. The suite of existing legislative instruments has similarly evolved and is not harmonized across thematic areas (UNDP/GEF 2007). National physical standards or building codes have not been established under the Act, most practitioners, however, use the Miami Code or the Caribbean Unified Building Code (CUBIC Code 21). The Central Water & Sewerage Act provides a basis for water resources abstraction and distribution and for water quality management. The Act also authorises the Minister to set aside protected areas for the protection of water resource. National standards for the discharge of treated effluents into surface water have not been established, but the current approach of the CWSA is to apply WHO or EU standards. These standards are relevant for the discharge of treated effluents. The Waste Management Act No. 31 of 2000 defines the roles and responsibilities of the National Solid Waste Authority and provides the framework for waste management planning and waste management operations in SVG. The Act is supported by the Solid Waste Management Regulations of 2006, which, among other things, establish the national standards for the handling of solid wastes such as derelict vehicles, scrap tires, used oil, special waste etc and specify the requirements for obtaining licences and permits in connection with waste management operations.

21

Note: It is unknown which standards will be applied

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The Environmental Services Act No. 15 of 1991 makes provisions for the control of emissions and effluent discharge into water bodies, but there are no accompanying regulations in place to support this Act. There is a draft of OECS guidelines for effluent discharge but these have not been adopted or incorporated into local laws and / or policies. Water quality monitoring programmes for natural surface waters do not exist. In practice analysis would only be done if a problem were suspected. Due to the given wind conditions and the lack of major air polluting industries air quality is not a relevant issue in St. Vincent. Consequently no air quality monitoring programmes have been established. The Environmental Health Services Act, No 14, 1991 determines that the Ministry of Health and Environment is responsible for the promotion and protection of public health by providing for and ensuring the protection and maintenance of the environment. In this respect the Environmental Health Unit is responsible for regulating, monitoring and controlling any present and likely environmental pollution and to investigate, prevent and remediate environmental pollution, including the management and disposal of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. Noise pollution is regulated by the Noise Control Act, 1988. The Act describes a code of practice for noise control at construction sites, which is enforced by the police. The Physical Planning Board may serve a notice specifying the type of plant to be used for construction and setting limits noise levels and working hours. Where works of the listed type are intended the developer needs to make an application to the Board and specify the nature of works, construction methods to be applied and noise control measures proposed. Specific national standards for the control of traffic or aircraft noise have not been established in SVG. Therefore ICAO standards shall be used.

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5.3

Nature Conservation Legislation Legislative acts that deal with the management and sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity are: • • • • • • • The Quarries Act, 1941; The Fisheries Act No. 8, 1986 and Fisheries Regulations, 1987; The Wildlife Protection Act No. 16, 1987; The Forest Resource Conservation Act, No. 47, 1992; The Town and Country Planning Act, No. 45, 1992; The Marine Parks Act of 1987 and Marine Parks Regulations, 1998; and The National Parks Authority Act, No. 33, 2002.

The main gaps and limitations common to most of these Acts is that regulations for their enforcement do not exist and some of them are outdated. Therefore agency support is essential for EIA implementation. A table indicating where agencies shall play a role in implementing mitigation and monitoring measures is provided in chapter 10.9. The proposed actual development area does not include any designated conservation areas. There are, however, two areas that may potentially be affected by the Project, i.e. the Milligan Cay Bird Sanctuary and the King’s Hill Forest Reserve. More details on these areas are given in chapter 6.7.

5.4

Heritage Legislation The National Trust Act 1969 establishes the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust (SVGNT) as a corporate entity and mandates the Trust to make provision for the management of a range of natural and cultural resources. Section 4 of the Act sets out the objectives of the Trust which include the conservation of areas of natural beauty; the conservation of buildings and other assets of archaeological, architectural, artistic, historic, scientific, or cultural interest; the conservation of flora and fauna in areas of natural beauty; public education re-

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lated to natural and historical assets; and collection and allocation of funds to further the objects of the Trust. The Act No. 37, 2007 is an amendment to the principal Act, which would enable the Trust to designate any place, building or object as ‘protected national heritage’. According to the provisions of this Act the owner of any protected national heritage may enter into a written agreement with the Trust providing for the due conservation of the protected national heritage and for its protection from any danger of destruction or removal or from damage by neglect or injudicious treatment.

5.5

Land Acquisition Regulations Under the Land Acquisition Act of 1947 lands can be acquired for public purposes. Where a dweller has occupied a piece of private land for more than 12 years without being disturbed or paying a rent, he can make an application to the High Court through a lawyer for transformation of that land into legal property under the Possessory Titles Act, provided he is paying taxes.

5.6 5.6.1

Institutional Responsibilities The Physical Planning Unit The Physical Planning Unit (PPU) falls within the HILP and derives its authority from the Town and County Planning Act No. 45, 1992. The Act gives the legal power to the Physical Planning and Development Board. The PPU ist the technical / executive arm of the Board. The PPU reviews EIAs and prepares physical development plans. All recommendations made by the PPU are subject to final decision by the Physical Planning Development Board.

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5.6.2

The Central Water and Sewerage Authority The CWSA is a statutory body, which derives its authority from the Central Water and Sewerage Authority Act No. 17, 1991. The Authority’s responsibilities include the conservation, use, and apportionment of the water resources of SVG. In performing its role, the Authority can establish protected areas for the preservation of the nation’s water supply. The Authority is also responsible for solid waste management (Solid Waste Management Unit).

5.6.3

The Forestry Department The Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is responsible for the conservation and sustainable management of the nation’s forest, wildlife and national park resources. The Department takes its legal mandate from The Forest Resources Conservation Act No. 47, 1992 and The Wildlife Act No. 16, 1987. Under the Wildlife Act provision is made for the establishment of a Wildlife Conservation Advisory Authority whose members are appointed by the Minister responsible for wildlife. Membership includes the Chief Wildlife Officer and other persons appointed by the Minister. As no wildlife officers have been appointed the Chief Forestry Officer and Forestry Officers perform the duties of the Chief Wildlife Officer and Wildlife Officers respectively.

5.6.4

The Fisheries Department The Fisheries Department is within the MAFF and takes its authority from The Fisheries Act No. 8, 1986. The division is responsible for promoting the management of fisheries in the territorial waters of SVG. The Fisheries Division (FD) is also responsible for implementing the Maritime Areas Act No 15, 1983, the Fisheries Regulations (SRO) No. 1, 1987; the Fish Processing Regulations of 2001 and the High Seas Fishing Act of 2001.

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The FD has the power to declare Fishing Priority Areas, Marine Reserves, and regulate research and other use activities within the territorial waters of SVG. 5.6.5 The Environmental Health Division The Environmental Health Division falls within the MoHE and takes its mandate from the Environmental Health Services Act No. 14, 1991. Its primary responsibility is to control and abate pollution and to ensure that there is a clean and healthy environment in SVG. The Act makes provisions for an Environmental Health Board comprising the Chief Medical Officer; the Chief Environmental Health Officer, the Chief Executive Officer; and five persons appointed by the Minster of Health and Environment. This department also has a major role to play in ensuring that the waters of SVG are not polluted. 5.6.6 The National Trust The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust (SVGNT) was established in 1969 with the promulgation of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust Act (1969). The SVGNT is responsible for conserving the tangible natural and cultural heritage of SVG and works as a Statutory Body under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The SVGNT is an NGO, which is managed by a Board of Trustees of no less than eight members. The Trust maintains collaborative arrangements with the Physical Planning Division (compilation of data on pre-historic sites), the Forestry Department, and the National Parks Unit of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture. 5.6.7 The National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority The National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPA) came into being as a Statutory Body in January 2007. The NPA takes its mandate from the National Parks Act No. 33, 2002 and operates under the Authority of the Ministry of Tourism, Youth and Sports.

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The primary responsibilities of the NPA are to preserve, manage, protect and develop SVG’s natural and cultural heritage, including the historical and cultural heritage of the island. NPS’s mandate includes the establishment of National Parks, the operation of facilities for national enjoyment and tourists, the promotion of conservation, the education of the public, and the regulation of activities in national parks and their buffer zones. 5.6.8 The Environmental Services Unit The Environmental Services Unit (ESU) of the MoHE shares responsibility for environmental matters with the Environmental Health Division. Unlike the latter however, this Unit has no legal / institutional mandate or authority but is a mainly coordinating body which functions as the national focal point for a number of multilateral environmental agreements. Moreover the Unit promotes environmental awareness and guides the monitoring of the progress of NEMS implementation on a quarterly basis with support from the National Environmental Advisory Board (NEAB). In the EIA process agency support will be required. A table indicating where agencies should play a role for implementation of mitigation and monitoring measures is provided in chapter 10.9.

5.7 5.7.1

ICAO Standards and Recommendations General The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel. The ICAO was established in 1947 by the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention. This Convention establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. SVG is a signatory of the Chicago Convention of the ICAO and thus has an international obligation to meet standards and recommended practices (SARPS) enshrined in the eighteen annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. In the context of the present EIA the most relevant ICAO annexes are:

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5.7.2

ICAO Annex 14: Aerodromes ICAO Annex 14 contains standards and recommended practices (specifications) that prescribe the physical characteristics and obstacle limitation surfaces to be provided for at airports, and certain facilities and technical services normally provided at an airport. Most of the specifications for individual facilities detailed in Annex 14 have been interrelated by a reference code system and by the designation of the type of runway for which they are to be provided, as specified in the definitions. The document sets forth the minimum specifications for those aircraft types that are planned to operate at the site. Volume I of Annex 14 also contains several specifications aimed at enhancing the level of security of an airport. A concept of obstacle restrictions and elimination has been prepared by the Cuban partners and is attached as Appendix XII. In the course of the further planning process an obstacle limitation zone has to be developed. For this purpose a topographic survey is required which has not yet been conducted. According to ICAO recommendations States should certify airports open to public use in accordance with the specifications of Annex 14 as well as other relevant ICAO specifications through an appropriate regulatory framework. Article 38 of the Chicago Convention obliges contracting states to notify the ICAO of any differences between their national regulations and practices and the International Standards contained in Annex 14 of the Convention.

5.7.3

ICAO Annex 16: Environmental Protection ICAO Annex 16 (3rd Edition 1993) deals with aircraft noise only and provides detailed guidance on noise evaluation procedures and methods, measurement, maximum noise levels, trade-offs and test procedures: • • • • • Part I: Definitions; Part II: Aircraft Noise Certification; Part III: Noise Measurement for Monitoring Purposes; Part IV: Assessment of Airport Noise; Part V: Criteria for the Application of Noise Abatement Procedures.

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According to Part V of the Annex aircraft operating procedures for noise abatement shall not be introduced unless the regulatory Authority, based on appropriate studies and consultations, determines that a noise problem exists. ICAO further recommends that aircraft operating procedures for noise abatement should be developed in consultation with the operators, which use the aerodrome concerned. The factors to be taken into consideration in the development of appropriate aircraft operating procedures for noise abatement should include the following: • • • • • 5.7.4 The nature and extent of the noise problem including the location of noise sensitie areas; and critical hours. The types of aircraft affected, including aircraft mass, aerodrome elevation, temperature considerations; The types of procedures likely to be most effective; Obstacle clearances; and Human performance in the application of the operating procedures.

ICAO Annex 18: Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air The provisions of ICAO Annex 18 (3rd edition 2001) provide international standards and recommended practices regarding the international transport of dangerous goods22 by air. The relatively broad provisions of this Annex are amplified by the detailed specifications of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284). Each Contracting State shall designate and specify to ICAO an appropriate Authority within its administration to be responsible for ensuring compliance with this Annex. The Annex provides standards for packing of dangerous goods, for labelling and marking, defines the shipper’s and operator’s responsibilities, specifies information to be provided to the pilot, the crew and passengers and others, claims the establishment of training programmes and of inspection, surveillance and enforcement procedures to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Annex.

22

dangerous goods are defined as ‘articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in the Technical Instructions or which are classified according to those instructions.

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5.8

Conclusions As mentioned earlier the TCP legislation act 45 of 1992 is the legal basis for ensuring orderly and progressive development of land and the proper planning of town and country areas. It makes provisions for the control of development and also regulates whether certain projects may require an environmental impact assessment. According to the TCP act the environmental impact assessment shall be in such form and contain information as prescribed. The decision whether an EIA is required for a certain project is within the responsibility of the Physical Planning and Development Board which consists of 12 members as indicated in Section 3 (1) of the TCP act. In case that for a certain project an EIA is required it has to be submitted and approved as required by the board. In case of the Argyle International Airport an EIA is required. The IADC has been given the responsibility for the EIA process as part of the planning and implementation of the airport project. The different steps in the formal EIA process would be as follows: • EIA Review The draft EIA statement will be internally reviewed by the IADC and distributed to the relevant stakeholders for comments. Based on the comments provided by the IADC the EIA consultant will prepare the Final EIA report. The formal approval of that report will be given by the Physical Planning and Development Board. • Final Detailed Design The IADC will be responsible to review the mitigation measures and recommendations proposed as a result of this study and to decide on their incorporation into the final detailed design / implementation during construction and on their consideration in establishing future management arrangements for the operational phase.

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EMP Implementation During construction the responsibility for EMP implementation normally lies with the contractor who would need to comply with relevant environmental management clauses and technical specifications of his contract. The contractor’s performance would be supervised by a resident Engineer who directly reports to the developer (in this case the IADC). Due to the already mentioned arrangements such contract or technical specifications will not be established. According to these arrangements workers from Cuba and Venezuela will carry out all earthworks and runway construction and as such be directly responsible to implement the various measures contained in the EMP to the satisfaction of IADC’s construction supervision team. In the absence of relevant regulations and the lack of institutional framework (structures, human resources and equipment) there will thus be a need to establish such framework conditions as to ensure that effective environmental monitoring will take place during construction and that all environmental management measures will be duly implemented (see chapter 12.2).

Operational Phase As regards the operational phase of the Project there are no relevant national standards, regulations or institutional arrangements in place that would support environmentally sound day-to-day operations or a performance level in accordance with international environmental quality or safety standards. Therefore the GoSVG will be responsible to take such decisions on organisational issues, staffing and equipment that effective environmental management can be implemented and that airport operations will be safe, regularly monitored and continuously improved in accordance with relevant international standards and practice. As these required arrangements have cost implications it will be important that appropriate budget for purchase / installation of technical equipment and for recurrent cost (personnel expenses and continuous training of qualified staff; maintenance of equipment etc.) be allocated.

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6.
6.1

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT
Geology and Topography St. Vincent is a small volcanic island whose major feature is a series of mountains (former volcanoes or “eruptive centres”), which form a 1000 m high northsouth ridge down the centre of the island. The northernmost, highest and most recent of these mountains is the active volcano La Soufrière (1178 m). Two major eruptions, which formed much of the island, have been dated to the Miocene period. The most recent eruptions were in 1718, 1812, 1902, 1971 and 1979 (UNDP, 2007). The entire island consists of either consolidated rocks (lava flows and dykes) or unconsolidated materials (‘volcaniclasts’, including red scoria, yellow tephra, pyroclastic flow deposits, and reworked or alluvial deposits). Numerous deeply incised valleys drain from the central ridge to the narrow coastal belt, more steeply on the leeward side of the island than on the windward side. There is very little flat land - 50% of the island’s total surface has slopes of 30° or more, and only 20% has slopes of less than 20° (Barker, 1981). The airport site is located on the southeast coast of the island, a region of lower than average relief but still characterised by marked ridges, valleys, incised rivers and low cliffs. Generalised geological mapping of St. Vincent (Robertson, 2003) indicates that this area is comprised of lava flows and domes, yellow tephra underlain by volcaniclastics, and alluvial and reworked deposits (Fig. 10), and it has a history of marine submergence and intermittent uplift due to tectonic shifting (Smith, 2000). Geotechnical investigations carried out during the airport design study describe extrusive igneous rock formations formed by a series of lava flows (basalts), pyroclastic materials and ash (Provincal Ingenieros, 2006). The hard lavas are expressed most dramatically in the 85 m high Mt. Coke at the southern end of the runway, where 50 m high cliffs fall to the Atlantic (photo) and at Yambou Head (80 m). Elsewhere on the site low ridges separate shallow valleys a few metres above sea level, the relative relief being some 45 m (photo).

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Project area

Fig. 10: Geology of St. Vincent (Robertson, 2003)

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Cliffs at Mt. Coke (view from northeast)

Landscape of Project Site: view from south end of future runway at Mt. Coke looking north along runway centreline (centre of picture); the hills on the right (Mt. Pleasant) are at about the runway mid-point.

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The shoreline of the project area reflects the underlying geology, comprising cliffs and bluffs at Mt. Coke and Yambou Head with intervening bays of black sand and/or pebbles. Wave energy is high along the Windward coastline, energised by the Northeast Trade Winds, and there is evidence of continuing erosion (photo). Currents and sediment movement are generally to the south.

Active erosion at Rawacou Bay

Inland, the terrain is highly dissected, and over a distance of some 7 km raises to the island’s mountainous central ridge, here about 750 m asl. The highest peak in the vicinity of the site is Grand Bonhomme (970 m asl), approx. 7.5 km to the northwest of the airport. The following figure shows a longitudinal cross section of the runway and the underlying geology.

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Profile of runway

Fig. 11: Longitudinal cross section of the runway and underlying geology23 Soils The soils of St. Vincent have been studied and mapped by the Regional Research Centre, Imperial College of Agriculture, Trinidad, in the 1930s and in 1957 (Watson et al., 1958). The 1957 soil map at a scale of 1:20,000 remains the standard reference. The soils of the island are relatively young and immature, being derived from recent volcanic ash, cinders and rock fragments24. The dominant soils of the study area have been described as Low Level Yellow Earths, which are typically distributed in areas below 600 ft (209 m asl) (CCA, 1991). Other soil types include alluvial soils along the Yambou River and a small fringe of beach deposits alongside the coast. a) Low Level Yellow Earths are typical of lower slopes of river basins on the windward side of St. Vincent. Mostly developed in tuff, in the Project area their texture ranges from sandy loam to clay. These soils are markedly acid (pH 5.5 to 6.5) due to the parent materials and relatively high rainfall, have a high water holding capacity and at the same time are fairly well drained. Although phosphorus availability is severely limited, the soils have high natural fertility (Smith, 2000). Under natural conditions they support dry scrub woodland (see below), and they are suitable for cultivation where slopes permit. b) Alluvial Soils are formed from water-transported materials and occur in valley bottoms. In St. Vincent they usually have a coarse texture (sands and gravels) and may include boulders. In the project area these soils oc23 24

Source: Ministerio Infraestrutura de Venezuela / Instituto de Aeronautica Civil de Cuba (2006). “Andosols” in the FAO soil classification, “andisols” in the US soil taxonomy.

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cur along the Yambou River and the adjacent valley to the South, and represent only a small fraction of the soil types of the study area. These soils are prone to flooding, and the associated leaching25 may produce relative acidity. Alluvial soils naturally sustain riparian vegetation. Beach deposits occur in a narrow strip along the coastline of the study area except where this is interrupted by cliffs as at Yambou Head and Mt. Coke. Most beaches are black sand of volcanic origin, but a 1 km section of beach centred on the mouth of the Yambou River is pebbles (see photos below).

Typical black sand beach (Rawacou, south beach)

25

leaching: loss of water-soluble nutrients

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Pebble beach at the mouth of Yambou River

Land capability classification of the study area indicates a high suitability for cultivation, viz: • Class 1: slope limits mainly 0 to 5 degrees. These lands are relatively flat with deep fertile soils which is suitable for cultivation with almost no limitation; • Class 2: slope limits are mainly 5 to 20 degrees; this land is suitable for cultivation with moderate limitations.

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6.2 6.2.1

Climatic Conditions Rainfall The climate of St. Vincent and the Grenadines may be classified as humid tropical (Af) to sub-tropical (Afa) in the Koppen climatic classification system (Smith, 2000). Temperatures range from 18o to 33o C at E.T. Joshua Airport, but are typically in the high 20s. There is little seasonal or diurnal variation, but temperatures in the interior of the island tend to be cooler at higher elevations. Annual precipitation varies from about 1,500 mm in the extreme south (DLN Consultants 2006) to 5,500 mm or more in the interior26 (CWSA Montreal Stn 1996-2006 average), whilst measured evaporation at low elevations is around 1000 mm/yr (Underwood McLellan Associates, 1971). About 70% of the annual rainfall occurs during the wet season, which runs from June to November, with December being a month of transition to the January to May dry season. The rainy season is associated with the movement of the intertropical convergence zone, which is at its most northerly position over the Caribbean in this period. It also coincides with the hurricane season, which officially lasts from May to November (see chapter 6.8 for more details). The nearest rainfall station to the Project site is at the Agricultural Research Station at Dumbarton some 3 km West of the site. The elevation of the station is 137 m asl and annual rainfall between 2001 and 2002 averaged 1,675 mm (Ivor Jackson & Associates 2004). Average annual rainfall at E.T. Joshua Airport at sea level some 6 km to the West averaged 1,997 mm for the period 1979 to 200327. Rainfall is closely associated with elevation. A graph of mean annual rainfall against elevation is presented in the 1971 Water Resources Study and indicates that, for the island’s Windward and Southern zones, rainfall rises from some 2,000 mm at sea level to about 4,320 mm at 500 m asl (Underwood McLellan & Associates, 1971). Two CWSA stations in the upper Yambou catchment - Ma-

26

For example, CWSA’s Montreal Rainfall Station at about 450 m asl in the upper Yambou catchment recorded 5588 mm in 1998 and averaged 4800 mm per year from 1996 - 2006. Calculated from data in DLN Consultants, 2006.

27

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jorca (approx. 420 m asl) and Montreal (approx. 470 m asl) - averaged 2,277 mm and 4,800 mm/yr respectively over the period 1996 to 2006 (data from CWSA). On the basis of these records it appears that the proposed airport site can expect 1,500 – 2,500 mm rainfall per year, with around 70% falling during the June to November rainy season. Rainfall records from the Project site (Argyle) do not exist. For the purpose of this study it was thus decided to use rainfall data from the coastal station at Arnos Vale rather than those from the more elevated station at Dumbarton. Average monthly rainfall recorded at the E.T. Joshua station during the period 1979 to 2005 is shown in Figure 12 (in mm). Figure 13 indicates the number of rainy days per month28.
286 243 206
200 150 100 50 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D

300 250

289

237

246

176 133 93 88 91 116

Fig. 12: Average monthly rainfall recorded from 1979 to 2005 at E.T. Joshua Airport29

28 29

Note: in establishing these figures any day with a recorded minimum of at least 1 mm of rainfall at E.T. Joshua Airport was taken into consideration Source of both figures: Met. Office Arnos Vale

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25 20 15 10 5 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D
20 16 15 16 21 19 15 21 20 21 21 19

Fig. 13: Average monthly days of rainfall recorded 1979 – 2005 at E.T. Joshua Airport The design of hydraulic structures (bridges, culverts, drains, gutters) depends on short-term rainfall records (daily and hourly precipitation) rather than annual totals. St. Vincent is below the hurricane belt but is still affected by tropical storms and occasional hurricanes, most recently Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Intense (‘torrential’) rainfall is associated with these events but no short-term data are available for the Project site. DLN Consultants (2006) present a 24 hour rainfall chart for Dumbarton which shows totals of 220 mm, 300 mm and 420 mm for the 5 year, 10 year and 25 year return period, respectively. Elsewhere in the Caribbean short-term rainfall intensity during cyclones and hurricanes may reach 150 mm/hr and in excess of 600 mm/day. In 1967 the neighbouring island of St. Lucia experienced 229 mm in 2 hours from Hurricane Beulah (Leonce, 1980) and in January 1960 Jamaica received 1,118 mm of rain in 24 hours (Hardware, 1980). These extreme rainfall events do not fit well into standard hydrological distribution functions (predictive equations) (Arenas, 1983) but are indicative of the conditions, which will be experienced from time to time at the new airport. St. Vincent is liable to drought as well as floods, as between December 2002 and April 2003. The effect of global warming on rainfall frequency, intensity and duration is difficult to assess (DLN Consultants, 2006). The Intergovernmental Panel

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on Climate Change indicates likely decreases within the Caribbean region, although the number and intensity of extreme events (hurricanes) is likely to increase. 6.2.2 Wind Characteristics The main wind system affecting the island is the North East Trade Winds, which blow all year round. Regarding prevailing wind directions there is thus a pronounced difference between the windward eastern and the leeward western coast of the island. The south eastern coast of the island, where the planned runway stretches in a nearly north/south direction, is exposed to frequent cross winds. These winds have a cooling and drying effect on the island thus elevating the evapo-transpiration rate. Wind characteristics are an extremely important feature in the context of site selection for an airport and the layout of the runway and safety. In the case of Argyle frequent gusty crosswinds and their potential effects on the layout of the runway have been repeatedly discussed. As concrete and up to date information on the actual local wind characteristics (pattern and variation of predominant direction) did not exist it was decided to carry out continuous measurements at the site. A team of experts from Venezuela arrived in St. Vincent in late September 2005 to review existing long-term data recorded from the stations at Calliaqua and E.T. Joshua Airport and to establish the monitoring program for Argyle. In early 2006 appropriate sites were identified for the installation of the monitoring instrument, a FUESS anemograph, which records wind direction and intensity. The results of the wind measurement program are provided in Appendix XIII30.

30

note: the data on wind measurements and the various wind rose figures provided in Appendix XIII are extracted from a study that was jointly prepared by Ministerio Infraestrutura de Venezuela and Instituto de Aeronautica Civil de Cuba in 2006. This report contained various individual baseline studies, e.g. on soils, topography, metereology.

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6.3 6.3.1

Water Resources and Drainage Surface Water and Drainage at Site The Yambou River in the North drains the study area, by a minor tributary to the Yambou, and by six small seasonal streams. All these flow in an eastern direction to the coast. The runway, which runs nearly parallel with the coast, crosses these drainage lines at more or less a right angle. The smaller catchments vary in size from about 5 ha to about 45 ha at the runway, but that of the Yambou tributary is in excess of 100 ha. The catchment of the Yambou itself covers about 2,190 ha and reaches some 11 km into the interior to the peak of Grand Bonhomme (970 m asl). The average gradient of the Yambou is 4%. Yambou is a perennial river but is subject to flooding during heavy rains. At peak discharges the Yambou River is reported to carry significant sediment loads as well as transporting large boulders and floating debris such as tree trunks, branches and plastic waste. Automatic water level recorders have been installed by the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) at two locations in the Yambou catchment, at Mesopotamia just below the confluence of the three main tributaries (Zenga, Teviot and Ford), and on the Zenga River at Hopewell. It is understood that the gauges are read by VINLEC, the national electricity utility. However, the periods of record are short and no rating curves for these stations are available. Separately, the Forestry Department makes occasional ad hoc flow measurements on the Yambou and some other rivers, but the data are highly intermittent and the results unreliable. Nevertheless, the annual runoff of the Yambou is reported to be approximately 38,681,000 m³ 31. This is the equivalent of 1,766 mm of water over the entire catchment. The Yambou River was studied as part of the Island-Wide Flood Risk Assessment Study (DLN Consultants, 2006), and was not assessed to be a major risk. However, analysis of watershed characteristics undertaken as part of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Study32 placed the Yambou River at the top of the list with respect to both potential to impact coastal populations by flood flows, and potential to create impacts on marine water quality.

31 32

Smith Warner Int. (2006) CZMS (2006)

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Despite the existence of protected forest above the 1,000 ft contour (305 m) much of the Yambou catchment has been developed for agriculture and housing (see photos next page). Water quality is reported to be severely affected, which may be related to sediment, agrochemicals (especially herbicides), and wastewater from housing (grey water and septic tank overflows), and untreated wastewater from small industries including an abattoir and funeral parlour. However, evidence of these assumptions is not available, as water quality is not being monitored regularly. The consequences of continuous contamination and pollution are, however, visible in the degraded condition of inshore marine life south of the Yambou estuary (see Chapter 6.5.1).

Yambou catchment at Montreal: protected forest above high elevation agricultural land; the cleared areas on the slope have been reclaimed and replanted by the FD

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Yambou catchment at Richland agriculture on steep slopes encourages erosion and involves use of herbi- and insecticides

Within the Project area none of the rivers or streams are being used for drinking water purposes, although local residents occasionally use the Yambou River for bathing. Health problems that have occasionally been reported after bathing in the river may result from pollution with agrochemicals and animal and human wastes originating from further upstream in the Mesopotamia Valley. The small streams in the low-lying parts of Argyle have little or intermittent flow only. Their obvious pollution is most likely organic and caused by the cattle that grazes there in sometimes relatively large numbers (see photo chapter 6.4.2) 6.3.2 Groundwater A comprehensive hydro-geological investigation of St. Vincent was carried out in the early 1970s - the CIDA Water Resources Study (Underwood McLellan & Associates, 1971). The study identified alluvial materials at the mouth of larger valleys as potential freshwater aquifers, although the Yambou was excluded as a major potential groundwater resource. In contrast, the Rabacca River was confirmed as a potential groundwater source for the northern Windward coast.

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At site There is very limited information on groundwater in the area. During the geotechnical investigation on-site groundwater was recorded as follows: Tab. 3: Registered groundwater levels (from south to north)
Coordinates Borehole No East North Water Level Depth (m)

P-18A CC-27 CC-30 CC-39 CC-40 P-90 CC-60

491686.193 491952.638 492076.860 492122.786 492127.752 492250.566 492335.124

1453933.346 1454513.955 1454799.487 1455088.234 1455102.531 1455439.237 1455672.311

6.80-9.10 2.15 1.40 2.90 3.80 2.00 2.50

Source: Geo-technical report. Note: all of the above boreholes are located inside the area of the future runway

At the Rabacca Mining Site Parts of the required construction materials (e.g. base materials for the verges and taxiways) are likely to be sourced from the Rabacca River some 16 km to the North of the Project area. This river drains the eastern flanks of Mt. La Soufrière and is perennial, although the coarse, highly permeable bed materials near the mouth sometimes result in the disappearance of surface flow a few 100 m before the shoreline. A particular feature of this river is the narrow gorge through which it passes near the mouth, although this has been extensively damaged by ongoing quarrying (see following photos).

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Rabacca River looking upstream: undamaged gorge

Rabacca River is one of the three locations on mainland St. Vincent, which have a proven very good supply of potable groundwater. Due to the abundance of surface water resources it has not yet been necessary to tap groundwater supplies, but generally these resources can supplement surface supply and meet future water demands. In this respect the present mining activities at Rabacca may conflict with water supply demands in the long run.

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Rabacca River looking downstream: gorge destroyed by quarrying

6.4 6.4.1

Natural Environment Natural Vegetation The natural vegetation cover of an area depends on a series of physical environmental factors, such as topography, soils and climatic conditions, together with dominant ecological processes such as exposure to the trade winds. A generalized illustration of the main vegetation types of St. Vincent prior to disturbance is given in Figure 20. Following extensive clearance for agricultural purposes, large areas of natural vegetation are now restricted to higher elevations in the central mountains and on the Leeward coast (Smith 2000). Primary rainforest comprises only some 13% of total forested lands on St. Vincent (Strand 1996), with the remainder being mainly secondary rainforests, dry scrub woodland, and forest plantations (Hackman 1998). Figures for the area of the main forest types from surveys in 1949 (Beard

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1949), 1984 (Birdsey et al. 1986) and 1993 are shown in Table 4, and indicate a continuing decline in total forested area. Tab. 4: Area of main forest types 1949 - 1993
Area in ha 1984

Forest Type 1949

Rainforest - Primary Rainforest - Secondary Rainforest - Total Dry Scrub Woodland Elfin Woodland Palm Brake Regeneration Total Source: Simmons & Associates (2000)

8,218 1,491 207 4,122 14,038

9,208 1,326 952 1,734 13,220

1993 4,308 3,451 7,759 2,179 457 518 1,776 12,689

Prior to human disturbance the Project area would have been covered by closedcanopy forest varying from (a) Littoral Woodland along the shoreline dominated by sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera), (b) Riparian Woodland along the Yambou River and its tributary, (c) Cactus Scrub on the driest and most exposed locations and, most extensively, (d) Dry Scrub Woodland (deciduous seasonal woodland) which is typically dominated by Bursera simaruba, Pisonia fragrans, and Acrocima species (Simmons & Associates, 2000). Note that “dry scrub woodland” is a somewhat misleading label in that the dryness is relative (rainfall may be 2,000 mm/yr in dry scrub woodland areas) and the forest may be closed canopy, and is only ‘scrub’ when compared with the primary rainforest at higher, wetter elevations. 6.4.2 Current Terrestrial Habitat Types and Vegetation The lower lying parts of the study area are known to have been inhabited since about 150 to 300 AD (see Chapter 7.1.3). Clearance of the natural forest cover was completed when large sugar estates were established by British settlers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Much of the land was in the possession of a single landowner, known as the Argyle Estate. During the 19th century the sugar plantations were gradually replaced by bananas, and more recently by ar-

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rowroot, peanuts and sweet potatoes. The estate was broken up in the 1970s and there are now some 200 houses scattered over the study area. Despite the abandonment of some fields following land acquisition, most of the land continues to be used for agricultural purposes. For the purpose of this study habitats and vegetation in the Project area were investigated by air photo interpretation33 to identify different land uses and the location of remaining woodland. Walkover surveys were made to identify vegetation types and their condition as a basis for evaluating their conservation significance. The following habitat types were identified (see photographs): Natural and semi-natural habitats and their vegetation Beaches: as noted, beaches in the project area are primarily unvegetated black sand of volcanic origin, with a stretch of pebble beach around the mouth of the Yambou as a result of flood transport of river rocks from the interior. Cliffs and bluffs: cliffs exist in two forms, (a) on the shoreline and (b) along the Yambou River valley. Shoreline cliffs are found at Mt. Coke and Yambou Head. These vertical or near vertical rock faces are difficult environments for plants and have very little vegetation. They will not be directly affected by the project. Inland, a low cliff (max. height 5 m) extends for some 200 m along the South side of the Yambou River (see following photo). The cliffs provide support for a variety of forest trees with white cedar, mapou and fiddle wood as dominant tree species and are outside the airport perimeter.

33

Photo series from SVG Mapping Project, Run 33 dated 06-03-07, photo no 1099 – 1104.

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Fig. 14: Main vegetation types of St. Vincent prior to disturbance34

34

source: SVG Environmental Profile. 1991.

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A similar but shorter length of cliff occurs at the petroglyph site directly next to the proposed runway (photo).

Cliff along Yambou River

Cliff at petroglyph site

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Grassland: the dry north-facing slope of Mt. Coke supports a small area of seminatural grassland, possibly maintained by fire (see photos below).

Semi-natural grassland at Mt. Coke, looking north from top of slope

Fire in grassland and scrub at Mt. Coke, 11 Nov. 2007

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Herbaceous scrub: this habitat type comprises a mixture of rough grassland, annual herbs and invading woody vegetation (scrub). It is found in numerous locations in the project area on the perimeter of dry scrub woodland. Abandoned fields will progress through this habitat type as they revert to woodland. At Mt. Coke the scrub has been invaded by the parasitic love vine (Dodder: Cuscuta ssp. or Cassythia filiformis), poix doux (Inga laurina) and black sage (Cordia martinicnesis) 35. Dry scrub woodland: this woodland type is mainly found on hilltops, steep slopes and other relatively inaccessible locations (see photos). Characteristic species are mapou (Pisonia fragrans, P. guapira), angeline (Andira inermis) and white cedar (Tabebuia heterophylla) with an understorey of pudding vines (Cissus verticillata) and milk bush (Tabernaemonta citrifolia). Littoral woodland: the shoreline of the project area is lined by a low vegetation community dominated by sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera) (see photo). Other species present include Caribbean trumpet tree (Tabebuia pallida) and Rheedia species. The sea grape forms a continuous, low wind-sculpted canopy. In some locations it has been removed from the roadside to deter thieves. Riparian woodland: this type of woodland occurs along the Yambou River and its tributary. Principal species are wild almond (Talauma dodecapetela), mapou (Pisonoa), fiddle wood (Vitex divaricata) and Cecropia spp., some of the trees reaching to a height of 15 m.

Sea grape; Yambou Head in background

Riparian woodland along Yambou tributary

35

See Appendix VII E, for complete list of plant species

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Non-woody riparian vegetation: where watercourses and streams run through agricultural land the riparian woodland has been removed and its place taken by a narrow (1 -5 m) strip of non-woody riparian vegetation (grasses and herbs). As noted by the EIA for the Windward Highway Realignment (Mouchel Parkman 2007), typical species include elephant grass (Pinestum spp.), wild ginger (Itedychium spp.) and dumb cane (Dieffenbachia spp). Hedgerows: some of the fields in the area are separated by hedgerows comprised of shrubs and occasional trees such as Leucaena, and Mapou, others are pure gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium), a small fast-growing leguminous tree (see photo below).

Non-woody riparian vegetation, Argyle

Gliricidia hedgerow separating pastures, AArgyle

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Tab. 5:
Habitat

Natural and semi-natural habitat types in the Project area
Area (ha) Within airport perimeter Outside airport perimeter Total

Natural/Semi-natural

Beach Cliffs Grassland Woodland Littoral Woodland (shoreline) Riparian Areas - riparian woodland - non-woody vegetation - stream/river bed Hedgerows Note:

2 2 1 21 3 7 (6,5) (0,5)

9 0,5 11 36 12 5,5 (0,5) (0,5)

11 2,5 12 57 15 12,5 (7) (1)

6

1

7

residential, commercial, agricultural land use and built up areas of the study area are described in chapter 8.3.

6.4.3

Terrestrial Fauna The current habitat conditions of the study area are almost entirely determined directly or indirectly by the effects of anthropogenic activities and land use such as cultivation agriculture, pastures, rural settlements, transport routes and a few small-scale industrial enterprises. As a result and as was mentioned earlier in this report, only relatively small patches of the natural scrub and dry forest vegetation as well as riparian vegetation remain. The mentioned activities and loss of natural vegetation cover have adversely affected the quality of wildlife habitats of the area and hence altered the distribution and composition of the local fauna. All non-flying mammals found in St. Vincent (and the other Windward Islands) were previously introduced by Amerindian or European settlers. These introduced rodents, feral goats, pigs and opossums (‘manicou’) had and continue to have a major impact on native flora and fauna.

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There are no remaining endemic36 rodents in the Lesser Antilles (Woods 1985). More than any other single factor the introduction of the Indian mongoose, introduced in the 1800s to control rodents and pit vipers (Bothrops), is correlated with the extirpation or extinction of reptile populations in the West Indies and particularly the small islands of the Lesser Antilles (Schwartz & Henderson, 1991). The characteristic terrestrial mammals of the study area are manicou, mongoose and small rodents (rats and mice). Bats, rats, mice and mongoose are defined as ‘vermin’ under the 1987 Wildlife Protection. Armadillo (‘tattoo’), manicou and agouti that may have formerly occurred in the western parts of the study area prior to its present development, were not confirmed during interviews conducted with local people and farmers. According to the consultant’s observations bats are generally abundant throughout the study area. During a survey conducted in St. Vincent in 2005/06 by scientists from the University of Scranton (PA) a total of 12 bat species were recorded on the island (Dr. Kwiecinski, 2006, unpublished). Information on the concrete spectrum of bat species within the present study area is not available. At the nearest surveyed site (located in the gorge of the Yambou River) six species of bats were recorded by mist netting (Kwiecinski, personal communication). The flight paths of the local bat populations between the roosting sites and foraging habitats is not known, but it is assumed that the creviced basalt faces south of Yambou River, which are located directly next to the planned runway, represent ideal roosts for bats. Another roosting site (cave) was reported from the seaside face of Yambou head but this could not be confirmed during the conduct of this study.

36

Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a place. Endemic species are not naturally found elsewhere. The place must be a discrete geographical unit, such as an island, habitat type, or other defined area or zone. For example, the Saint Vincent parrot is an island endemic, meaning it is exclusively found on the island of Saint Vincent.

Endemic types or species are especially likely to develop on islands due to their geographical isolation. Endemics can easily become endangered or extinct due to their restricted habitat and vulnerability to the actions of man, including the introduction of new organisms. Endemic organisms are not the same as indigenous organisms - a species that is indigenous to somewhere may be native to other locations as well. An introduced species, also known as a naturalized or exotic species, is an organism that is not indigenous to a given place or area.

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Bats are the only extant mammals of Saint Vincent, but locally they are considered as pests. Apart from the initial (yet unpublished) results of the abovementioned survey little is known about the species themselves and their distribution in Saint Vincent. What is known, however, about the island’s bat species is that they have an important role as pollinators. Moreover bats are an effective natural pest control and can as such contribute to agricultural productivity. None of the bat species recorded in the area is legally protected or included in the IUCN Red List. A list of the mammals of the study area is provided in Appendix II A. The avifauna of SVG is known to contain 153 species (NBSAP). The 1987 Wildlife Protection Act provides absolute all year round protection for all seabirds; all wading birds except yellow legs snipe, sandpipers, plovers and ducks; and all land birds except doves, pigeons, chachalaca and quail (Environmental Profile SVG, 1991). The avifauna of the study area is relatively diverse, however mainly composed of common species. Of the more than 30 species that were recorded around the Argyle and Mt. Pleasant area the most frequent are cattle egret, grey king bird and smooth-billed ani. A list of bird species observed in the study area is provided in Appendix II B. Milligan Cay is a small, approximately 2.4 ha rocky island located some 2.6 km straight-line distance to the southwest of the planned southern runway edge. The maximum altitude is about 30 m / 100 ft asl. Milligan Cay was declared as a Bird Sanctuary in 1947 and is now a Wildlife Reserve administered by the Forestry Department under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1987. Due to its shape Milligan Cay is locally known as ‘Turtle Island’. The island is uninhabited and largely covered by pipe-organ cacti. As the cliffs are steep and the Sea is rough the island can an only be approached by boat from the north western side.

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According to Forestry Department officials the island is known to be a ‘significant staging habitat’ 37 for migratory waterfowl like ducks, mallards, terns and others. However, systematic research or surveys of the avifauna of the site have never been conducted. As Milligan Cay is located in the immediate approach corridor of the future airport it has been decided to conduct a survey of bird species of the site. In SVG migratory birds mainly occur between October and March. The bird survey was therefore conducted during the peak of the migration period, starting from mid December 2007.

Milligan Cay Wildlife Reserve: an important staging habitat for migratory birds

Milligan Cay Wildlife Reserve offers protection to at least 13 totally protected bird species, according to St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Wildlife Protection Act no. 16 of 1987. The island is also an important foraging, roosting and breeding habitat for a number of resident and migratory birds (including terrestrial, water and sea birds), and hosts a number of regionally important species at certain periods of the year. The full report on the study conducted on the avifauna of Milligan Cay is provided in Appendix I.
37

Staging habitat : seasonal stopover site for migratory animal species

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Area specific records on the terrestrial herpetofauna of St. Vincent do not exist. The amphibians and reptiles observed in the study area are the Green Iguana, the endemic St. Vincent Tree Anole, the Saint Vincent Bush Anole, the SmoothScaled Worm Lizard, the Cane Toad, the House- and the Turnip-Tailed Gecko. Snakes that have been reported (but not been observed) are the Windward Racer and Congo Snake. Introduced mammals like mongoose, rats and in some places feral cats continue to prey on lizards and snakes. The greatest threat to Iguana is man, as this species is considered a valuable bush meat. Despite seasonal hunting restrictions (1 February to 30 September) the numbers of this species is reported to continuously decline. New infrastructure developments like the present Project, the construction of the relocated Windward Highway and the new southern access road in the Mt. Pleasant area will add to this trend through habitat loss and fragmentation. A list of the herpetofauna of the study area is provided in Appendix II D. 6.4.4 Conclusion Regarding the flora of the study area all habitats can be assessed as more or less heavily disturbed by anthropogenic activities. During the field survey none of the 15 flowering or two fern species that are listed as endemic to SVG in Appendix 4 of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan or any or IUCN-listed species were recorded. Few terrestrial animal species of conservation concern were observed in the study area. Whilst the various habitats can clearly support a range of species from a number of faunal groups, critical habitats 38 do not exist in the study area. The loss of these habitats is not expected to pose a direct threat to the existence of any particular terrestrial species or group of species on the island. However, the populations of the abundance of the presently existing wildlife species is expected to generally decline in the area.

38

Note: Critical habitats are defined areas of land that are crucial to the survival of particular threatened species, populations and ecological communities.

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6.5 6.5.1

Aquatic Habitats and Wildlife Marine Habitats and Wildlife According to a map as (re-)produced in various reports some ‘reefs’ would exist off the planned airport site and in the bay in the line of approach. A boat, equipped with a depth/fish finder, was hired to inspect the bottom type around the study area. The depth finder indicated certain underwater structures other than sand at various locations. In the area between the mouth of the Yambou River and the tiny rocky island off the coast (at the northern end of the planned runway) various objects were observed on the bottom, by means of the fish finder. Inspection of the bottom, while snorkelling, revealed interesting features and it was decided to make a reconnaissance dive, using SCUBA equipment, from there, into the direction of the Yambou River. Attention was given to the current and incoming waves in order to conduct the survey parallel to the coastline. A depth range between 6 and 12 m was covered. The structures found would be best described as a range of boulders, stones and pebbles on a rocky bottom, interspersed with sandy patches. Stony corals were observed, mainly individual colonies, well separated from each other (Montastrea spec and Diploria spec). Large individual sponges, growing on the bottom, were noticed also as well as crust-forming sponges. On flat bottom areas many soft corals and gorgonians were observed. Rocky outcrops and boulders were found down to approximately 12 m depth, after which a sandy shelf area was found. Fish life was abundant, albeit small specimens of ornamental and food fish varieties. The following fish genera and species were observed: Cephalopholis fulva, Chaetodon spp., Rypticus saponaceus, Holocentrus spec., Myripristis spec., various wrasse varieties, Rhinesomus triqueter, Diodon spec., Acanthurus spp., Acanthocybium spec., Haemulon flavolineatum, H. chysargyreum, H. surinamensis, Bodianus rufus, Balistes ssp. and black margate. Adult spiny lobsters were observed at various spots. This “reef” is not indicated on the map of ECNAMP (1980), perhaps because the area was not surveyed at the time.

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Giant beaker sponge behind soft coral, doctor fish in the background and (8 to 10 m depth)

Relatively high density of live stony some corals (Montastrea with round polyps and Diploria)

The reefs at the cliff where the airport approach is planned were inspected and found to be of less biological importance than the reef between the Yambou River and the above-mentioned rocky island. The fish and coral biodiversity was considerably less, although the number of algae was larger. The algal growth is likely linked, however, to the pollution in the area. The visibility, transparency and general water quality was much less than at the northern dive site. The rocky outcrops were not found deeper than approximately 7 m, after which the black sand shelf started. Few encrusting sponges were observed, and very few small stony and soft corals. The alongshore current from the northern part of the island would carry the discharged particles from the Yambou River to the southern part of the island. The reefs that were observed at the bottom of Mount Pleasant were a confirmation of the reef distribution on the ECNAMP map. The neighbouring reefs north of Mount Coke were not visually inspected, but their presence could be confirmed by the depth finder. A reef was expected to be found in the Bay South of Mount Coke, but could not be tracked down by the fish finder. It is expected that reefs in that bay occur further to the south than expected. In the light of the observations made it is believed that the majority of the reefs on that side of the island are rocky in character and are distinct from the reefs found on the southern side of the island where reconnaissance dives were made as well. These reefs have a coralline character and there the density of stony, reef-building corals is much higher.

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Boulders with some encrusting sponge (5-6 m depth)

Rocky sea bottom with algal vegetation species (7 m depth)

It may be concluded that run-off from the river during the construction phase of the airport may affect the low-diversity reefs south of the Yambou River, provided that the sediment load is discharged gradually, in order to avoid distribution of the discharged materials in northerly directions where more vulnerable reefs occur. The presence of lobsters on these reefs in the relatively shallow part of the island shelf may continue to form the backbone of a lobster-pot fishery in the deeper parts of the island shelf between 30 and 60 m depth. 6.5.2 Marine Turtles According to the Fisheries Department and locals interviewed during the conduct of the study two of the four species of turtles occurring in St. Vincent’s marine and coastal habitats, viz the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), occasionally nest on the beaches of the windward coast. Both these species have international conservation status as per IUCN red List (CR) and are at extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. The nesting period is usually from March to July, but can occasionally start as early as February. The nestlings hatch 2 months after having been laid, mainly around September. Hunting is restricted during the closed period from March to July, but it is a repeatedly reported observation that due to lack of enforcement and low public awareness turtles are slaughtered at their nesting beaches and that their clutches are being poached.

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According to the Fisheries Department the beaches of the study area (i.e. from south to north: Stubbs, Mt. Pleasant / Rawacou and Argyle / Peruvian Vale) do represent turtle nesting sites. Concrete data on the nesting incidences, however, do not exist. 6.5.3 Occurrence of Tri-Tri in the Yambou River The Yambou River represents a natural seasonal habitat of Sicydium plumieri, locally known as ‘tri-tri’. This species is of socio-economic importance and represents an important protein resource for the local population. Throughout Saint Vincent tri-tri is appreciated as a delicacy and its seasonal occurrence at the mouth of the Yambou River is a regular social event. Due to the specific importance of this fish for the local population some more indepth studies have been conducted in the frame of this EIA. Given the complexity of this issue and the amount of information collected a separate chapter has been provided in Appendix III to facilitate reading. This Appendix thus covers the complete thematic complex - from information on the biology of the tri-tri, its economic importance, the potential impact of the Project on the local resources, the impact assessment and the recommended mitigation measures. Colonaire River in the North is the next known important tri-tri habitat.

Destinations of seasonal animal migrations in Argyle: turtle nesting beach in the north of the planned runway tri-tri fishing in the mouth of Yambou River

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6.6

Other Aquatic Habitats The Yambou River provides habitat of a number of freshwater fish such as mullet, mackock, sandfish, crocro and crayfish. Local people fish these species on an ad-hoc basis and for subsistence. Other wetlands are the few seasonal streams crossing the future airstrip from west to east and some wet ditches located in the pasture areas at Argyle. These latter ditches are partly very polluted by cattle and contaminated runoff from the higher lying fields. No information could be obtained on the wildlife associated to these aquatic habitats, but it is assumed that only some very robust and thus common amphibian and crab species (e.g. the blue land crab Cardisoma guanhumi) and other invertebrates would survive in these habitats.

6.7

Protected Areas Within the right of way of the runway and associated airport infrastructure no land based or marine protected areas exist. The closest protected area is the King’s Hill Forest Reserve, the eastern boundaries of which are located about 1.2 km to the southwest of the planned runway. Established in 1791 King’s Hill was the first Reserve in SVG and is one of the oldest of the Western hemisphere. The 212 ha Reserve was set aside to preserve its timber and other trees and to attract rains. It would therefore benefit the surrounding sugar estates at Ribishi, Cubiamarou and Diamond. At the time of establishment most of St. Vincent’s lowland forests had already been cleared for timber and planting sugar cane. Kings Hill rises to about 220 m and is covered by mainly dry woodland and climax forest. King’s Hill was declared a Wildlife Reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1987. It is managed by the Forest Department and continues to be a valuable tool for research into St. Vincent’s natural history. Milligan Cay was declared a Wildlife Reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act (see Chapter 6.4.3 and Appendix I)

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Due to the high bird endemism found within the area SVG forms part of the Lesser Antilles Endemic Bird Area (EBA) as designated by BirdLife International. BirdLife International has mapped every bird species with a restricted range of less than 50,000 km², using many thousands of geo-referenced locality records. The areas where these ranges overlap define avian centres of endemism that are termed Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs). Many other animals and plants have evolved into unique species in these same areas of endemism. EBAs are also, therefore, excellent indicators of general biodiversity.

6.8 6.8.1

Natural Hazards Introduction The geography and topography of Saint Vincent in combination with global climate change effects result in the island’s natural exposure to a relatively wide range of hazards, which have the potential to cause loss of lives, environmental degradation and disruption of the economy. The most common types of natural hazards occurring in Saint Vincent are briefly described below.

6.8.2

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms SVG is located south of the belt of the most active Hurricane Zone, but has suffered the impact of several severe storms in the past. In 2004 the passage of hurricane Ivan caused extensive damage from flooding, high winds, storm waves, and landslides – particularly on the coastline, destroying settlements and major infra-structural development, including some low-lying sections of the Windward Highway.

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Recent examination of tropical storm trends leads to the conclusion that the number of tropical storms occurring every year has been increasing. This evidence also seems to indicate that the intensity of these storms may be rising39. Hurricanes are commonly classified into five categories according to the Saffir Simpson Scale as is shown in the table below. Tab. 6: Saffir Simpson hurricane intensity scale
Hurricane Category Velocity 1 2 3 4 5

V (kts) V (km/h) V (m/s)

64 -83 119 - 154 33 - 43

84 - 95 155 - 178 44 - 49

96 - 113 179 – 210 50 - 58

114 – 135 211 - 250 59 - 70

> 135 > 250 > 70

According to the CZSR (2006) an average of eight storms per year were recorded in the period between 1900 and 2000. While periods of increased hurricane activity occurred from approximately 1930 to 1970 and after 1990, an overall slowly rising trend has been observed during this period. This underlying trend indicates that over the next 100-year period the average will increase from 8 to 11 cyclones per year. In St. Vincent hurricanes and tropical storms40 typically occur between June and November. A summary statistics of hurricane tracks is provided in the 2006 ICZM report. According to this source 18 out of the 97 cyclones, which passed within 300 km of St. Vincent in this and the last century, have reached hurricane status. On average, the island has been exposed to 1 hurricane every 6 years. The following table gives an overview of the hurricanes that generated the highest waves:

39 40

Source: Coastal Zone Management Report (CZMR) for the Island of St. Vincent (2006) Per definition a tropical cyclone is classified as a hurricane only after it has attained one-minute maximum sustained near-surface (10 m) wind speeds of 33m/s or more. Below this, these storms are referred to as Tropical Storms. Hurricanes are commonly classified into 5 categories according to the Saffir Simpson Scale. Source: as above.

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Tab. 7:

Hurricanes with highest waves recorded (CZMR, 2006)
Hurricane name Year Category

Unnamed Hazel Janet Allen Ivan

1921 1954 1955 1980 2004

1 3 1 4 4

Hurricane wave heights have been computed for various return periods and sectors of the island. The southeast sector where the Project is located experiences the second-highest hurricane wave heights of the island for the following reasons: • • The highest wave heights come from the northeast and southeast direction; and These directions have the highest relative frequency of wave occurrence.

The following table shows the hurricane wave heights in the southeast sector (SE) for various return periods. Tab. 8: Return values for hurricane wave heights in the SE sector of Saint Vincent
Hs (m) Return periods (yr) Tp (s) WSp (m/s)

5 10 25 50 100 150 200 Source: (CZMR, 2006)

4.32 6.00 8.16 9.77 11.37 12.30 12.95

8.29 10.20 12.38 13.86 15.24 16.01 16.54

17.03 24.86 34.96 42.46 49.91 54.24 57.28

According to the calculations presented in the CZMR a deep-water wave height of 12.30 m is expected to occur at least once in the next 150 years or 9.77 m once in the next 50 years respectively. Based on these figures it has been recommended that a 1 in 150 years return period for the highest wave height be

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adopted for Saint Vincent, both for planning and disaster preparedness applications (CZMR, 2006). For this reason it is important to strictly ban any physical development in the low lying areas east of the runway. 6.8.3 Storm Surge A preliminary storm surge 41 computation was made in the frame of the 2006 CZMR based on available bathymetric information. The results indicate that on the exposed south eastern side of the island where the Project is located, storm surge values range in the order of 1.8 to 2.0 m. It should be noted that these preliminary results do not include the inverse barometric pressure rise, tidal effects or the global effects like sea level rise. When including the factor computed for the inverse barometric pressure rise (0.29 for the 150 year hurricane return period) to the tide and global sea level estimates for the next 25 years these components could be expected to add another 0.5 to 0.8 m to the previous estimates. Due to the present lack of adequate data relating to beach and shoreline profiles wave heights and storm surge values cannot yet be appropriately quantified for specific locations in St. Vincent. Such information is expected to be provided for selected areas at the stage of the full Coastal Zone Management Plan preparation, when bathymetric surveys and shoreline cross sectional profiles for these selected areas have been obtained. Based on these data it will be possible to plot the predicted storm surge values on 1:2,500 to 1:10,000 scale to indicate zones of potential inundation (CZMR 2006). The combined effect of wave action and storm surge will aggravate coast erosion and sedimentation. Additional impact that will arise from sea level rise and climatic change should be monitored but can only be considered in a broader regional context as indicated in chapter 6.8.8.

6.8.4

Coastal Erosion While some beaches in the Caribbean region are accreting, the overall trend on the Windward Islands is towards beach erosion as a result of hurricanes, winter

41

A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically a tropical cyclone. Storm surge is caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface (Wikipedia)

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swells, beach sand mining and pollution. Hurricanes and winter swells may move sand into deep water offshore, thereby permanently removing it from the beach system. Records from coastal surveys conducted by the Sea Grant College Program based at the University of Puerto Rico show that the Caribbean region has a background level of 0.3 m per year of coastal erosion. The rates observed varyied considerably and rates as high as 5 m a year have been recorded on Eastern Caribbean islands. For St. Vincent the Coastal Zone Management Report (CZMR 2006) indicates that beach erosion rates appear to have accelerated over the last 8 to 10 years. Between 1997 and 2000 the mean erosion rate along the windward coast of St. Vincent is estimated to have been around 1.6 m/yr. Over the same period, Orange Hill along this stretch of the eastern shoreline recorded a total of 15 m of coastal retreat. The loss of an entire playing field at Sandy Bay on the northern coast, an old cemetery at Camden Park on the southwestern tip of the island, and the undermining of the Central Leeward Highway at Layou all speak of rapid rates of coastal erosion and the loss of land to the sea42. 6.8.5 Soil Erosion and Landslides Because of the mountainous topography, the instability of many of the slopes, and the common occurrence of unconsolidated rocks, localized landslides and slumps occur throughout much of St. Vincent, mainly in the rainy season when surficial materials become over-saturated. Landslides range in extent from 0.2 to 3.6 ha and affect many roads during and after heavy rainfall and storms. Movement types recognized in St. Vincent include falls, slides and flows involving rock and engineering soil. Most of these hazards are because of increased surface runoff due to deforestation and improper land use. Increased soil erosion within the Yambou River valley is at least indirectly connected to the project because higher sedimentation rates and transport of debris may put a risk to the Yambou River crossing and may involve additional maintenance.

42

Source: Initial Communication on Climate Change SVG (2000)

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6.8.6

Volcanic Activities Saint Vincent’s La Soufrière is an active volcano, which has had at least four explosive eruptions and an unknown number of non-eruptive, effusive eruptions since the 16th century. The current St. Vincent Volcano Monitoring System is executed jointly by the Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, and by the Soufrière Monitoring Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Kingstown. An ‘integrated hazard map’ indicates four hazard zones based on the projected effect or impact of explosive activity from the volcano. According to this map the Project is located in the ‘low hazard’ zone 4, where • • • Relatively minor impacts from eruptions will be experienced; Ash fall may be as low as 5 cm; Crop damage and disruption to water supply will be major effects.

The potential for future eruptions of La Soufrière militates against investment of critical resources in areas North of the Rabacca and Wallibou River. In this respect the proposed airport site is not considered a critical location. The following figure shows the ‘integrated volcanic map’ established by the Seismic Research Unit of the UWI. 6.8.7 Earthquakes An earthquake is a sudden motion of the ground produced by the abrupt displacement of rock masses. Most earthquakes result from the movement of rock mass past another in response to tectonic forces. The focus is the point where the earthquake’s motion starts, and the epicenter is the point on the earth’s surface (which may be under water) that is directly above the focus. Earthquakes result in ground shaking, differential ground settlement, soil liquefaction, land slides or mud slides, permanent ground displacement along floods from tsunamis. The magnitude of an earthquake is commonly described using the Richter scale, ranging from magnitudes of 1 to 12 43.
43

Source: Strategy and Operational Guidelines; Natural Disaster Management. Caribbean Development Bank, 1998

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There are no major faults or folds anywhere in the country. SVG occasionally experiences earthquakes associated with activity of the La Soufrière volcano and suffers minor effects from earthquake events in the Caribbean Basin. On November 29, 2007, however, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 occurred off the east coast of Martinique at a focal depth of 121 km. This earthquake was the fifth earthquake of similar size to occur in the region since 1727 and the largest earthquake recorded since the magnitude 7.5 event which occurred in 1974 near Antigua 44. Despite its magnitude the November 2007 earthquake did not affect infrastructure in the country. According to the MoTW this event would not require the review of building codes that are currently in use in SVG. The design of the pavement for the Project runway will be according to ICAO standards. Therefore the event will also remain without effect with regard to the Project.

44

Source: Seismic Research Unit UWI, internet news document

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Project area

Fig. 15: Integrated Volcanic Hazard Map of St. Vincent 6.8.8 Sea Level Rise Long-term observed data permitting reliable evaluation of past trends, or a reasonable projection of future patterns of sea-level change do not exist for SVG.

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However, based on projections derived from the best available observational data and General Circulation Model outputs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) suggests that the mean rate of sea level rise in the Caribbean region will be in the order of 5mm/yr for the next 100 years. This figure is at least twice as high than the rate experienced in the previous 100 years. Future changes will be neither uniform nor constant and site-specific conditions will also have an influence on this rate (CZMR, 2006).

Sea-level rise is an increase in sea level. Multiple complex factors may influence this change. Sea-level has risen about 130 metres (400 feet) since the peak of the last ice age about 18,000 years ago. Most of the rise occurred before 6,000 years ago. From 3,000 years ago to the start of the 19th century sea level was almost constant, rising at 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr. Since 1900 the level has risen at 1 to 2 mm/yr; since 1993 satellite altimetry from TOPEX/Poseidon indicates a rate of rise of 3.1 ± 0.7 mm/yr. It is very likely that 20th century warming has contributed significantly to the observed sea-level rise, through thermal expansion of sea water and widespread loss of land ice. Church and White (2006) found a sealevel rise from January 1870 to December 2004 of 195 mm, a 20th century rate of sea-level rise of 1.7 ±0.3 mm per yr and a significant acceleration of sea-level rise of 0.013 ± 0.006 mm per year per yr. If this acceleration remains constant, then the 1990 to 2100 rise would range from 280 to 340 mm. Sea-level rise can be a product of global warming through two main processes: expansion of sea water as the oceans warm, and melting of ice over land. Global warming is predicted to cause significant rises in sea level over the course of the twenty-first century (Wikipedia).

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To establish baseline conditions for St. Vincent and to monitor change over time, a sea-level/climate monitor was installed along the Southeast coast near the Coast Guard Station in December 199845. According to the Meteorological Office at Arnos Vale these monitoring data are directly collected by the Regional Archive Center in Trinidad. So far the quantity of data is not sufficient to come to any useful conclusion, but it appears that during the period 1999/2000 no significant changes have occurred46.

45

46

Source: Initial National Communication on Climate Change SVG. National Environmental Advisory Board and MoHE 2000. Source: Arnos Vale Metereological Station

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7.
7.1 7.1.1

CULTURAL AND RECREATIONAL ASSETS
Cultural Heritage Introduction Intensive archaeological research has been carried out in SVG over the last fifty years by local, regional and international researchers and enthusiastic amateurs. As a result of continuous interest, commitment and field research a number of objects and sites of archaeological, historical and cultural value have been recorded at Argyle. The list of the relevant objects and sites is available in the National Archaeological Site Catalogue maintained by the SVG National Trust (SVGNT). To identify potentially relevant issues in the context of the Project repeated consultations were held with representatives from the SVGNT. A field visit was guided by Ms. Kathy Martin to several of the known areas and sites of archaeological and historical interest to provid first hand information on their location, nature and present condition. These undertakings were complemented by a review of available literature, Internet information and consultation with two Canadian archaeologists, who had previously done research in the area. The cultural heritage assets of the study area comprise: • • • one petroglyph site, several ancient habitation sites; and the remnants of two old sugar mills.

None of these sites yet has official protection status. However, following to the most recent amendment of the St Vincent National Trust Ordinance No 32, 1969 the National Trust is now in the process of declaring places of very special interest as heritage sites that need to be protected. 7.1.2 Petroglyphs In St. Vincent 12 rock art petroglyph sites were reported by Dubelaar (1995) and reconfirmed by Martin (2006). Rock art is considered as one of the major cultural riches of Latin America and the Caribbean. ‘In its various forms, which are often

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spectacular, it is found in abundance in most of the countries of the continent. It is often the only concrete expression of the complexity of the thought, beliefs and cults of lost indigenous civilizations’ (Clottes, 2006). According to Haviser, Jay and Strecker (2006) SVG probably has the highest density of rock art per unit area in the entire Caribbean region. The SVG sites are distributed coastally and along rivers, where they are engraved into andesite basalt. Most of the motives consist of faces and anthropomorphic figures which are always stylized or schematic. The petroglyphs of SVG have been the object of extensive local, regional and international scientific studies and research. In the Yambou Valley alone 6 petroglyph sites have been identified. The approximate location of the petroglyph that will be directly affected by the Project is shown in Figure 22. At this site the petroglyph is located on a vertical rock face at the end of a massive lava flow and represents a type of ‘outlier’ of the ‘Yambou site’, located higher up the valley. The site is composed of several artifacts spanning several pieces of fractioned rock. Considering the possible loss of the petroglypf in through the construction of the airport runway the IADC and the Ministry of Culture have raised funds for producing two sets of life-size replica as a detailed inventory and an early safeguard measure of these important cultural assets. The site is presently being cared for by the Roman Catholic Church, which until recently used it as a shrine (known as ‘Notre Dame de Yambou’). Yambou forms part of a total of 15 sites of the region, which have been declared as ‘exceptional’ at a meeting of specialists in Guadeloupe under the auspices of UNESCO. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) suggests that the Caribbean art ensemble deserves to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the process of nomination is in progress. The six petroglyphs of the Yambou valley (which includes the one affected by the Project) represent Saint Vincent’s contribution to the proposed Caribbean art ensemble.

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Fig. 16: Approximate location of cliff with petroglyph 47

47

Note: the Windward Highway as shown in this figure does not correspond to the latest alignment

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Photographs of the Argyle Petroglyph showing main features. The bottom photograph shows detail of the rectangle shaped area on the top photograph (Dr. R. Richardson).

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‘A visit was made to the petroglyph at Argyle in response to a request made since
early in 2007 by the IADC and the NTSVG. The visit was made on November 19, 2007 and the author was accompanied by Mrs Kathy Martin of the IADC, Dr. Rudy Mathias and Mr. Tyroone Ballah of the IADC, Ms. Melanie Pörschmann of KOCKS Consult GmbH and Ms. Aisha Samuel of the Soufrière Monitoring Unit. Location and Previous Work: The petroglyph is located in Argyle, less than 500 metres from the mouth of the Yambou River. Robertson (2002) described the area as belonging to the Grand Bonhomme Volcanic Centre and classified the rock upon which the petroglyph is inscribed as fine-grained lava flow. Based on a sample collected from the lava flow Robertson (2002) undertook a detailed petrological and geochemical analysis and the rock was classified as a high-magnesium basalt. Modal analysis of the sample indicates that it contains the following mineral assemblage: olivine (56%), silica (48%), plagioclase (19%), orthopyroxene (13%), and clinopyroxene (11%) with trace amounts of oxides (1%). Using X-ray fluorescence the major elements in the rock were analysed and determined to consist of SiO2 (47.84%), Al2O3 (15.71%), MgO (12.19%), CaO (10.83%), Fe2O3 (9.77%), Na2O (2.28%) and <1% respectively of TiO2, MnO, K2O and P2O. Field Observations: The rock upon which the petroglyphs are inscribed is approximately 15 m high with an exposed rock surface extending over 30 m (see photographs below). The outcrop is a cliff face (80-90° slope) that trends towards the east and then south, so the full extent of the exposure is not immediately visible when viewed at ‘head-on’. The entire area is covered with green shrub that obscures the topmost portion of the rock on which the petroglyphs are inscribed. The top surface of the outcrop does not appear to contain any man-made structures. However a religious shrine has been constructed above the two lowest inscriptions. Cement possibly used in the construction of the religious shrine fills several of the joints that separate the coherent lava blocks that comprise the outcrop. The rock at the site is massive but exhibits what appear to be two dominant joint patterns or structures. The first order joint set are spaced at about 1 metre apart and oriented in three directions at approximately right angle to each other (see upper photo next page). These joints define metre-sized blocks within which the second order joint set is superimposed. The second order joint set consist of joints oriented only two directions, one of which is parallel to the direction of one of the first order joints (see lower photo next page). One of the second order joints exhibit a laminar style consisting of linear, wavy cracks separated by about 1-2 cm and extending at least 2-5cm deep. The other is oriented approximately perpendicular to the first and parallel to one of the joint sets of the first order joints’ Dr. R. Robertson, head of the Seismic Research Unit of the UWI in Trinidad

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7.1.3

Known Prehistoroic Sites According to the SVGNT nine known prehistoric habitation sites are located in the Argyle area (see table below). Information on the coordinates of these sites is with the SVGNT and it was agreed that these data and a map that had originally been prepared would not be published in this report to avoid encroachment or any other damage after publication of this report. Tab. 9: No 47 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56
Source: SVGNT

Ancient habitation sites in the vicinity the Project Name Escape 2 Escape Argyle Argyle 1 Argyle 2 Mt. Pleasant Mt. Pleasant 1 Rawacou Mt. Coke Code KuCe 7 KuCe 5 KuCe 6 JtCe 1 JtCe 2 JtCe 3 JtCe 6 JtCe 7 JtCe 4

Several archaeologists (the late Doc Earle Kirby, Dr. Louis Allaire, Dr. Richard Callaghan, Iosif Moravetz and Dr. Arie Boomert) had previously investigated the wider area and based on their findings it was concluded that settlements existed in the area, possibly continuously from 150-300 AD to the period of contact with the Europeans. Not surprisingly artefacts continue to be found practically everywhere in the low-lying areas of Saint Vincent, where freshwater sources exist. With permission from the SVGNT and the property owner Mr. Branson Thomas, Mr. Iosif Moravetz48 conducted a test excavation at Escape in June 2003.

48

Iosif Moravetz was, at that time, a PhD candidate of archaeology at the Dept of Archaeology, University of Calgary.

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A 1 x 2 m test excavation, which was dug to 1.9 m below ground, has brought to surface more than 4,350 artefacts, almost exclusively pottery from the Saladoid, Troumassoid and the Suazoid period49. The objective of this test excavation was to determine the integrity of the site for possible future archaeological investigations, to identify the age of occupation based on ceramic styles, and to recover samples for thin-sectioning purposes. During most recent investigations carried out by scientists from the University of Calgary (Canada) artefacts like pieces of griddles, incense burners, decorative and everyday items etc. were collected at Escape, which confirmed the existence of a local ancient settlement dating back to 150 AD on forward (Saladoid50 Period). Ground Penetrating Radar data were collected at Escape (KuCe 5) in 2006 and this revealed areas of anomalies, which are likely to involve material from Amerindian settlement sites.
Ceramic vessel found in 2000 at Escape in the excavation of a house foundation

49

50

Early Saladoid period: 160 – 350 AD Late Saladoid period: 350 – 650 AD (Saladoid with Barrancoid influences); Troumassoid period: 650 – 1200 AD Suazey period: 1200 – 1450 AD Saladoid is an archaeological term to define the first ceramic producing, Arawak speaking peoples migrating to the island. The Saladoid culture was first recognised at the site of Saladero on the lower Orinoco River.

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‘In terms of prehistoric occupation on St. Vincent, the area around the Escape and Argyle sites was heavily utilized at all time periods and archaeologically is one of the most important on the island (Callaghan 2007). Without more extensive investigations, it is difficult to determine if we are seeing large sites or a series of site clusters. It is possible that sites in the area shifted location frequently but not to a great extent as structures aged and fields became overcome by weeds and secondary vegetation growth. The area offers one of the few situations in the Antilles where it may be possible to determine the strategies used in prehistoric agriculture in the Antilles.
The Argyle site (KuCe-6) is a single component site containing only Cayo ceramics. It is unique in the Antilles as no other such sites are currently known. The Cayo ceramics are associated with the Island Caribs (Boomert 1986; 1995; Allaire and Duval 1995). The identification of the Island Caribs from archaeological remains has long been one of the unsolved problems in Caribbean archaeology. As such the site provides a unique opportunity to understand many aspects about the Island Caribs including their origins, affiliations with other groups, social organization, and subsistence practices. No other site in the Caribbean has this potential. It is particularly important for understanding the heritage of St. Vincent given the strong historical connection between the Island Caribs and the island. The heritage of the Black Caribs of St. Vincent and other islands of the Lesser Antilles is closely tied to these issues as well. Regionally the site is essential for understanding Caribbean history and prehistory. Only a small area of the site has been excavated (Allaire and Duval 1995) and its loss is unlikely to be offset by new research elsewhere. An excavation program is the only way to save the information that the site contains. A second site (JtCe-1) may also have bearing on this problem and should be investigated. Preliminary investigations by the University of Calgary revealed late period ceramics as well as earlier Saladoid ceramics. There is the potential to gain information on the transition from the Saladoid period to later periods and ultimately a better understanding of the development of the Cayo period. The Escape site (KuCe-5) contains some of the earliest cultural material found on St. Vincent to date (Callaghan 2007). In the excavation of a house foundation near whole ceramic vessels were discovered in 2000. The site has been deeply buried in what appears to be a single event, likely volcanic. Work conducted so far indicates the possibility that the village was abandoned quickly. Its subsequent burial, too deep for agricultural and other disturbance common on St. Vincent, means that the village plan is likely intact with excellent preservation. Village layout in the Caribbean and Lowland South America is highly symbolic and the recovery of the layout can reveal much about belief systems, political and social structure. Further, the date of occupation indicted by the ceramics suggests that the site may be invaluable in understanding the migration pattern out of South America. Currently this is poorly understood as the earliest dates are in Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles contrary to what would be expected. During field surveys of the airport region the site JtCe-2 yielded some very early Saladoid ceramics, possibly earlier than the Escape site (KuCe-5). The site has the potential to shed light on migration patterns in the Lesser Antilles. In particular it may help determine if the earliest dates for the Saladoid period in the north of the region are merely a sampling bias or represent the actual migration strategy. Prof. Dr. Richard T. Callaghan, Archaeological Dept. of the University of Calgary (Canada), December 2007

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KuCe

JtCe
Fig. 17: Potentially Affected Archaeological Sites51

7.1.4

Previously Unknown Archaeological Sites During the conduct of this EIA study another - previously unknown - prehistoric habitation site was revealed by surface clearance of vegetation for the new airport bypass road. The site was located below the Oasis Retreat at Argyle and south of the road, which leads to it, but was laregely destroyed during the relocation of the Windward Highway. The site extended 800m from the road. South to the point where there is a change of slope as the land starts to descend to the Yambou River. The eastwest extent is uncertain, as the habitation level disappeared under cultivated land. This site was the ninth to be found in catalogue grid square KuCe.

51

Extract from: Archaeological Sites of Saint Vincent (I. Moravitz, unpublished)

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A surface collection conducted on November 23, 2007 by Ms. K. Martin (SVGNT), M. Pörschmann (KOCKS Consult GmbH) and M. Piercy revealed large numbers of largely Saladoid (160-650 AD) and Troumassoid (650-1200 AD) ceramic shards and several stone tools: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Incised designs, both straight and curvilinear; White on red painted; White zoned, incised on red painted body and rim shards; Modelled rim lugs; Anthropomorphic and zoomorphic adornos; Troumassée decorated cylinder shards (incense burners); Strap and other handles; Flanged rim shards; Cassava Griddle shards (no feet); Orange, red and white polychrome painted; Red and orange bicolour; Black and red incised; Black and orange bicolour; Plain.

Styles identified were: From the Saladoid Period: • Arnos Vale zoned ceremonial vessel. The section of pot recovered measured 19 cm high by 23 cm. Comparison with complete vessels of this type in the National Trust museum collection suggest the original pot would have been about 25 cm tall. From the Troumassoid Period: • Caliviny rim modified with black on handle;

Stone tools: • • • A mortar with 4 cm radius cup hole; Cutting tools with worked blades; Possible smoothing stones.

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The following pictures show a choice of the objects found at this site (all photos: Kathy Martin, SVGNT).

Adornos and lugs decorating mainly pot rims; Incised potsherds, probably early Saladoid

Arnos Vale zoned ceremonial vessel. The section of pot recovered measured 19cm high by 23 cm. Comparison with complete vessels of this type in the National Trust museum collection suggest the original pot would have been about 25 cm tall.

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Mortar

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7.2

Old Sugar Mills In Argyle two sugar mills were operational in the late 18th/early 19th century. The ruins of the Argyle mill are located immediately to the southwest of the present IADC office, and thus in the area which will be physically occupied by the Project. The old sugarmill at Escape is located outside the study area (south of the new bridge over the Yambou River) and will not be directly affected by the present Project. These ruins were not identified during the conduct of the EIA for that project and thus only discovered during site clearance operations for the relocation of the Windward Highway. Following to consultations between the IADC and the NT the initially planned alignment was rerouted to preserve the site from destruction. According to the NT there is yet no concrete concept for the further course of action regarding this site, which is still privately owned. The Argyle site is presently largely overgrown by Ficus trees and in an advanced state of dilapidation. However, the remains of the waterwheel in its wheelhouse, some cog wheels and other parts of the previous iron machinery are still in a fairly good condition. Moreover relatively large numbers of bricks and stones are scattered over the area. The bricks were brought to St. Vincent from England by sailing boats, on which they were used as ballast. The partly hand-shaped boulders were usually worked by slaves. Even though the remnants of the building, due to its location, cannot be preserved, the cogwheels may be rescued for later display and the various stones and bricks could serve as valuable original resources for the restoration of other historical buildings on the island.

Iron cogwheel and iron wear at the ruins of the old Argyle sugar mill

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The second sugar mill, the Escape mill, is a relatively large one. Its ruins are located on the right bank of the Yambou River in the corridor designated for the relocated section of the Windward Highway. The new road would directly destroy the remnants of these buildings and therefore the IADC sought advice from the SVGNT. Following investigation and evaluation of the site, it was agreed that IADC would try to realign the route and preserve the site for possible future rehabilitation. At Mt. Pleasant, in the south of the study area, an old stone windmill is located to the South of the access road to Rawacou Bay. This tower forms part of an old sugar mill complex and is in a relatively good state of repair. It is located approximately 190 m east of the planned runway and will therefore not be directly affected by the Project.

Windmill at Mt. Pleasant

7.3

Cultural Assets From 1876 – 1889 a church was constructed at Argyle, more so known as Escape to service the Yambou, Peruvian Vale and Escape Estates. In 1898, the church was left in ruins after the great hurricane. In 1929, under Dom Charles Verbeke, Our Lady of Lourdes church was constructed. The cornerstone of this new church was laid on May 3, 1929. For years Benedictine priests lived at the church. Many years later a fire destroyed the roof of the building.

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After much refurbishing of the building, the church allowed the Government to use it as a school in 1970. In 2005 the church ceased to be an educational institution as a new school was built in Peruvian Vale. There are a number of Christian, Hindu and Muslim graves on the church cemetery located mainly on the eastern and south eastern slopes of the hill. Currently, weekly Masses are held at the Church, alternating between Saturdays and Sundays.

‘The area became a place of Marian devotions when Fr. Charles Verbeke (1923 – 1945) staying over at the church in Escape saw a vision of our lady on the rocks in the area. In his vision he also saw the matyrdom of priests in a sacrificial offering. It was in this accord that the area began to be used as a place for Marian devotions. Fr. Verbeke built an altar on the rocks. This altar was broken down some years later. The area soon was left to itself and became dilapidated until some parishioners of the likes of George Bailey , Henry Thomas and others began to restore the area. Soon the statue of Mary which was being kept at the St. John’s church in Mesopotamia was erected within the rocks of the area where the vision was seen. However, due to destruction by other religious faith stone throwing destroyed some parts of the statue. This did not dissuade the Community from their devotions or development of the site. New lands were bought around the area, roads were developed for easy walking to the Shrine and the area was fenced and grassed. A platform was erected under the rocks to accommodate the saying of Mass and other religious devotions that occasionally took place at the shrine. The Statue was restored in the years following the elevation of SVG as a diocese much has been put into the development and recognition of the National Shrine. It is only then that the place became a place of annual pilgrimages Of noted significance is the annual pilgrimage of the bishop, Clergy, Religious sisters and brothers and the Faithful in the Diocese to this Shrine on the Sunday closest to the 13th of February for the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes’. In 1987, Yambou was declared a National Shrine dedicated to our Lady of Lourdes Source: St. John’s Church, Mesopotamia

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Roman Catholic Church at Escape, view from southwest 7.4 Recreational Areas and Sites There are two recreational sites in the study area: • Argyle Beach The natural black sand beaches in the southern part of Argyle are popular sites for traditional forms of beach recreation like picnic, beach sports, and relaxation. Rough sea conditions discourage bathing. During full moon the site regularly attracts moonlight beach parties (‘beach splashes’). The majority of the visitors are local residents, but non-resident visitors are also reported. At Easter, kite competitions are popular events in the low-lying pastures next to the Argyle beaches. These have been organised by Carib Cable for some 5 years. • Rawacou Beach / Rawacou Pond is a recreational site directly located on the seaside at Mt. Pleasant at a distance of about 580 m from the eastern edge of the future runway.

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Rawacou Beach has traditionally been a major beach recreation site of national importance. Important features are two beaches separated by a rocky headland. It is an exposed beach, well known for strong currents. A number of accidents have acted to reduce the level of use but the beach is still an attraction to adjacent communities for picnics, beach cricket and related activities. Wave conditions and strong currents curtail swimming. To enhance the recreational potential of the site, GoSVG has constructed a semi-circular natural pool at the headland, known as the ‘Rawacou Pond’. The vehicular access to this site is through a small road that branches off the Windward Highway at the Calder junction. Both the Argyle and Rawacou beaches were been included in an EUfunded tourism development programme for a total of 18 sites on mainland Saint Vincent. Meanwhile and in view of implementation of the airport Project the Argyle Beach site has been removed from that programme (see below).

Rawacou Pond, a popular recreational site in the Mt. Pleasant Area

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7.5

Planned Tourism Development Sites The Tourism Development Project (TDP) is an EU-funded, 5.74 million € development programme, which will be implemented by the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPA). The programme originally comprised 20 sites, 18 of which are located on mainland St. Vincent. Out of these 3 are located in the Project’s potential area of influence. According to NPA officials, the Argyle beach site has been recently removed from the programme in view of uncertain access to the site after Project implementation and its nearness to the proposed runway. The proposed Rawacou Recreation Park is located immediately east of the southern part of the future runway. The development of this recreational site aims at realizing the full potential of Rawacou Beach as a public recreational and tourism asset, targeted to resident users and visitors. The concept includes an integrated set of facilities, including, public washrooms, service concessions, picnic areas and fire pits, bandstand for performances, multipurpose recreational field for beach sports and a hard court for basket ball and netball.

North Beach

South Beach

Rawacou Beach earmarked for development under the EU-funded TDP The development cost for the Rawacou Beach site will be at about EC$ 1.5 million, not including land acquisition cost (I. Jackson & Ass., 2004). The site will be managed by NPA in accordance with its legal mandate for the management of beaches (National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority Act, 2002). The proposed site for the Rabacca River Recreation Park is an open space located to the north of the mouth of the Rabacca River, 1.2 km north of George-

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town52. In its present condition and exposure the site is inhospitable to recreational uses. Current occasional events include parties, fun sports, church outings etc., and mainly taking place on weekends and public holidays in the area between the Highway and the sea. The proposed development of this site includes gradual improvements and provision of limited facilities for accommodating occasional events by community groups or persons wishing to rent the site. Proposed measures include shifting the access to the site and delineating an area for parking of vehicles. The future arrangements will probably include public toilets, seating, camping ground and picnic shelters at the site. Ongoing erosion of the banks of the Rabacca dry river north of the site could affect the proposed development in the longer term (I. Jackson, 2004). The continued mining activity will also threaten the integrity of the bridge. The planned development cost of this site is about EC$ 372,000. Project implementation is currently planned to start in April 2008 and to continue until about May 2009 (Dr. D. Lee, personal communication). In this respect it will be crucial to ensure permanent access to the site. The Rabacca River site remains under design. The TDP activities will now comprise a small part of a larger project being developed by the GoSVG (see below). A technical team including the Ministry of Housing, Planning Department, Ministry of Tourism, the NPA, and the Project Support Unit of the TDP will be involved in the refinement of the design concepts, designs, financing, construction and operation of the project. The project is still in its conceptual phase and fluid in its development. The TDP is committed to developing the original plans in the north eastern corner of the site. The development of the Rabacca National Park is a concept that is jointly promoted by the Ministries of Tourism, Agriculture and the NPA in the area between the Rabacca River and Miss Jane River, immediately to the South of the Rabacca River. A theme for that park was not yet determined by the time of writing this report, but according to PPU / TDP-representatives it is likely to be a mixture
52

Even though located outside the immediate study area Rabacca will be indirectly affected by the Project by material extraction and future material requiremetns resulting from induced development.

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of recreation and a Carib theme village with a memorial statue of Chief Chatoyer, shops, play area, parking, rest stop, cabins along with the camping and picnic facilities to be developed under TDP. The following figure indicates the approximate location of existing and planned recreational and tourism development sites that may be directly or indirectly affected by the Project.

Fig. 18: Planned Tourism Development Sites directly or indirectly affected by the Project.

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8.
8.1

SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT
Population and Demographic Characteristics The current population of SVG is estimated at 118,150 (World Factbook, 2007). Between 1960 and 2001 population grew by 33 % with the highest growth rate occurring during the 1970s (13.4 %). The current annual population growth rate is 0.8% (UNCCD Report, 2006). Tab. 10: Population trends in census years 1960 to 2001 1960 Population Rate of Change 79,948 1970 86,314 7.96% 1980 97,845 13.36% 1991 106,499 8.84% 2001 106,253 - 0.2%

Source: St. Vincent and the Grenadines Statistical Office

According to the latest Population and Housing Census (Statistical Office Central Planning Division, 2001) the distribution of the population between mainland St. Vincent and the Grenadines remained virtually unchanged over the last twenty years. In 1980, 92.6 % of the population resided on mainland St. Vincent and in 1991 the figure was virtually unchanged, 92.1 %. However, in 2001, the mainland accounted for 91.9 % of the population, registering a slight decrease. According to the latest census the population density in SVG was at 709 persons per square mile in 1991. These figures vary significantly across the census divisions, from a high 6,954 in Kingstown to a low 197 in Chateaubelair. While the population density in Kingstown was lower than in 1991 (8,140), the present density is almost 10 times the national average. This situation, although showing declining trends over the past 20 years, continues to put severe pressure on social and other services within SVG’s capital. The population of SVG can still be described as young despite some recent declines in the numbers. The number of persons in the 15-29 age group, traditionally defined as youth, was 29,523 or 27.8 %, compared with 31,421 or 29.5 % in 1991. Another 31.9 % of the population is in the prime childbearing years of 2039. The average life expectancy is 68 years for males and 73 years for females.

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Since 1960, the infant mortality rate has fallen substantially, from 145.0 to 13.7 per thousand births. The population is projected to reach 130,765 by the year 2021, an increase of 19.9 % compared to the 1991 census and 17.7 % above the current population. The population of SVG is predominantly Afro-West Indian with some remnants of indigenous Carib Amerindian assimilated into the majority population. Whites of European descent and East Indians comprise the majority of the remaining population.

8.2

Settlements The Project area is characterized by a rural and partly dispersed rural settlement structure. Settlements within the vicinity of the future Project site are Peruvian Vale and Escape in the north, Akers and Calder in the west and Stubbs and Victoria Village in the south. These villages are located in the census divisions of Calliaqua, Marriaqua and Bridgetown, which due to their proximity to Kingstown range among the fastest growing areas of mainland Saint Vincent. Tab. 11: Main settlements of the study area Village name (ED) Stubbs Victoria Village Mt. Pleasant Calder Peruvian Vale (incl. Spring) Census Division (CD) Calliaqua Calliaqua Calliaqua Calliaqua Bridgetown Population (2001) 1,803 721 511 508 367 701

Akers (incl. Argyle+Escape) Marriaqua
Source: Population and Housing Census, 2001

One of the most critical project requirements is the relocation of the Argyle community. In the course of preparation of the Valuation Report by Brown & Co. affected people were interviewed with regard to their project affected property. The questionnaire for the interviews is shown in Fig. 19.

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St Vincent and the Grenadines Airport Development Survey Argyle Residents and Owners Information
( A) P ro fi l e o f In t er v ie we e O wn e r Own e r `s Na m e : A dd r e ss: W or k Ph o n e :

F am i l i y Ho m e

R en t e r H om e p h on e : Ce l l Ph o n e:

E- m a i l :

( B) P re f er re d Me th o d o f Co m mu n i ca t io n Ho me p h on e W o rk p h on e Mobile phone ( C) P ro pe r ty De ta i l s Nu m b e r o f be d r oo m s: _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ No o f b a t h ro o m s: _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ M o rt g a g e d: Ye s No B an k: _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _

E -m a i l

Ot h e r ..................................................

Si z e o f bu i l d i n g : _ _ _ __ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ Si z e o f La n d : _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ __ _ _ D ee d No : (i f kn o w n ) : _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Pr o p e rt y Su r v eye d ? Ye s _ __ / No _ _ _ S u rve y Pl a n # _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _

( D) U se o f Pr op e rt y Re si de n t i a l Co mm e r ci al A g ri cu l t u ra l ( E) O cc u p an c y D et a i ls

I nst i t u ti on a l M i xe d (please stete) ________________ Ot he r (please stete) _________________

Nu m b e r o f Ad ul ts (over 18 years): _________ __________ (Age range:) Nu m b e r o f Chi l dr e n : _____________ / ____________ S ta t e an y d i sa bi l i ty Re q u i re r ne n t s: _______________

18 - 25

26 - 35

3 5 & o ve r

Re l o c at io n Pr ef e re n ce Wo ul d yo u l i ke t he IADC t o p ut you i n co nt act wi th pe rsons wh o m ay h ave la nd s for sal e? Ye s No I f No . Ha ve yo u a l r ea d y i d e nt i f i e d al t e r na t i ve f a n d fo r y o ur h ou se ? Ye s No

Ho w m u ch ti m e wo ul d yo u n ee d t o re l oca te fr om Arg yle af t er re cei vi n g pa ym en t f or yo ur p r op e r ty ? ................................m o nt h s. Wo ul d yo u l i ke t he IADC t o p ut you i n co nt act wi th HLDC o r o the r p erson s who ma y ha ve h ou se o r m ay b e ab l e t o b u i l d ho u se s fo r sa l e t o yo u ? Ye s No W he r e w o ul d yo u p r e f t o re l o ca te i n St . V i nc e nt ? P e m b ro ke H a rm o ny H al l S p ri n g Ce d ar s O th e r ____________________________________________

No r th Un i o n

W ha t p ri ce ra n g e pe r s q ua r e f o o t a r e yo u p re p a re d t o p a y f o r f a n d ? $ 6- $ 7 $ 8 -$ 4 $ 1 0 -$ 1 1

$ 12 - $ 1 3

Fig. 19: Questionnaire to Argyle Residents and Owners

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It is not possible to develop a detailed demographic picture of the Argyle community because most of the questionnaires were not answered completely. However available results show that a great deal of affected people are elderly and a lot of the households include children. A very important issue is the time affected people need to relocate after they have received their payment. According to the results of the questionnaire for most of the affected households a realistic time frame is within 10 – 12 months. Especially households with children are critical because they need more time for adapting to the new environment because this also may involve finding of a new school and other childcare facilities.

8.3 8.3.1

Land Use Overview The land area of mainland St. Vincent comprises 345 km². Of that total 139 km² (40.3 %) are allocated to agricultural use and 121 km² (35 %) are forestland. The remaining land uses include natural vegetation (14.1 %) and built area (10.1 %)53. Prime agricultural lands are predominantly located below the 1000 ft contour along the windward coast. Built-up areas are primarily along the coast at lower elevations. The heaviest concentration of development is on the southern leeward side of the island in and around the capital Kingstown. Recent development patterns indicate that the highest concentration of new development is occurring around the capital between Camden Park and Calliaqua. The study area itself is characterized by dispersed rural settlements. Land use within the study area can be classified as agricultural, residential and to a small part commercial. The following table provides an overview of the various types of land use in the study area, both within and outside the airport perimeter 54.

53 54

Note: all figures are based on 1992 land-use patterns Note: this table does not include natural and seminatural habitat types of the study area, which are presented in table 5 of this report

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Tab. 12: Land use in the Project area55
Approximate area (ha) Land use type within airport perimetre (ha) Agricultural outside airport perimeter (ha) total (ha)

Cultivated (arable) Pasture Permanent crops - coconut - banana - other Housing (incl. yards, gardens) Commercial / industrial Roads 8.3.2 Agricultural Land Use

45 41 3 (-,-) (0.5) (2,5) Built up area 15 5 1

16 35 13 (8) (1) (4)

61 76 16 (8) (1,5) (6,5)

29 3

44 5 4

According to the SVG Agricultural Census of 2000, approximately 73% of small holdings (less than 25 acres) occupy approximately 19% of the total farmland, while approximately 1% of large holdings (more than 25 acres) account for almost 26% of the farmland. About 11% of the holdings (5 to 25 acres) occupy approximately 35% of the total farmland. In the first half of the last century until the 1970s the study area was owned by one landowner and was known as the Argyle Estate. This estate was also the main local employer. The types of crops grown on the estate changed over time; initially the main crop was sugar cane, followed by bananas and more recently by peanuts and arrowroot. After the dissolution of the estate in the 1970s the land was sold off in small plots by a real estate housing company. To date, however, agriculture continues to be the predominant land use and one of the main livelihoods in the area. An estimated 61 % of the study area is used for agricultural purposes, 55% of which is pasture56. Main crops of the area are peanuts, banana, root crops, corn, da55 56

Source: consultant’s own investigations, based on analysis of aerial photographs and field survey Source: consultant’s own investigation, based on analysis of recent aerial fotographs and field surveys.

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sheen, chive and cauliflower. In addition egg plant, hot pepper, pigeon peas, cucumber and lettuce are produced. According to data established by the IADC in 2006 and information from the MAFF most of the agricultural land of the study area is farmed under leasing contracts. The MAFF provided a list of farmers, their respective acreage, crop and expected yields of the Argyle and Mt. Pleasant area. According to these data the farms within the study area are categorized as small holdings as defined in the SVG Agricultural Census 200057. According to the recent aerial photographs and additional information directly gained in the field agricultural land use in the study area is as follows: • Cultivated land: some 20% of the project area (30% of the proposed airport site) is under cultivation (including fields recently abandoned due to land acquisition and now fallow); • • Pasture: about 24% of the project area (27% of the proposed airport site) is under pasture; Permanent crops: about 5% of the project area (2% of the proposed airport site) is planted with permanent crops. During the conduct of the study several cattle owners were interviewed while taking care of their animals grazing in the pastures of the study area. The 9 life stock farmers that were interviewed in the Argyle / Mt. Pleasant area indicated to currently own between 2 and 12 animals. The only full-time life stock farmer of the area had owned more than 35 animals, which he had just sold to a butcher as he has to move away in connection with the new airport. For all others ‘cattle mining’ currently represents a side income only. The land on which the animals graze is generally used free of charge with a permission from the owners. All livestock farmers reside in the immediate neighbourhood, e.g. at Argyle, Victoria village, Mt. Pleasant, Calder or Peruvian Vale. As most of them are elderly people ~ 60 to 77 y) and don’t have their own transport they would depend on nearby pastures available at no cost. Some people also practice ’crop shar-

57

A small holding has less than 25 acres of land

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ing’, i.e. owners who live further away (e.g. Calliaqua, Belair or others) share the revenue from the sale of their animals with those persons that take care of them. Information on the concrete numbers of cattle in the Project area could not be obtained. However it was repeatedly mentioned that ‘in earlier times’ there used to be significantly higher numbers of animals in the Argyle estate and Mt. Pleasant / Rawacou area. Some people suggested that before 2006 the total numbers would have ranged between 400 and 500 heads in that area on average. Presently the number of cattle varies strongly, because people started selling their animals as they move out of the planning area. According to the Dept. of Lands & Surveys there is no information available on the total area of pasture on mainland St. Vincent, but pastures, as land in general, are a limited resource on the island. After Balcom in the north of the island Argyle is the 2nd most important life stock area of mainland St. Vincent. Within the study area the total area of all pastures and grasslands is in the order of 107 ha. Observations made in January 2008 suggest that an estimated average of 15 to 20 animals were kept in the Mt. Pleasant / Rawacou area and about 70 to 80 in the pastures at Argyle in that period. 8.3.3 Residential Land Use The number of houses with gardens or yards within the study area has continuously increased over the last 10 to 20 years. According to the survey of land and property conducted by Brown & Co for the IADC a total of 131 home owners are directly affected by the Project. According to the map of land use and habitat types that has been produced as part of this report residential land use covers some 14 % of the Project area (10 % of the proposed airport site), including the associated enclosed yards and gardens.

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8.3.4

Commercial Land Use Commercial use is very limited in the study area. According to the Market Valuation Report conducted by Brown & Co in 2006 the following commercial businesses were recorded: • • • • • • Traveller’s Bar P’Tani Resort 2 block making plants 1 upholstery business 1 contracting business 1 small contractor’s base / workshop.

Further commercial businesses located within the area of the present study are the Oasis Resort, Steggie’s Bar and Pebble’s Restaurant. These businesses will not be physically affected by the Project, but will face various impacts during construction and Project operation (see chapters 9 to 11). According to the above mentioned map commercial, industrial and other uses cover some 2 % of the Project area (3.5% of the proposed airport site).

8.4

Community Structure and Employment When the Argyle Estate was ‘broken-up’ a number of significant social and demographic changes resulted. Firstly, existing villages ceased to function as communities and individuals and households moved out of the estate to nearby settlements such as Calder, Stubbs and Akers. Secondly, the Estate was subdivided into various parcels, some of which were used for housing lots. Over time some of the larger parcels have been sub-divided again due to inheritance practices, with all children of an owner inheriting a proportion of the land. In the context of wider socio-economic and demographic changes in SVG there has been a locally complex migration pattern with variations in time and space. Relatively poor people involved in small-scale farming have continued to leave the Argyle area for larger settlements such as Kingstown. However, increasingly

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wealthy urban dwellers and Vincentians returning from overseas have sought housing in the Argyle area as it is located in an attractive rural landscape, but close to the facilities of Kingstown, especially with the continuing improvements in the Windward Highway. Statistics on employment trends (source: Census Report 2001) by different economic sectors show that in 2001 41.6 % of the total employed population worked in agriculture, construction and wholesale industries compared with 49.1 % in 1991. This was due to the 37 % decline in employment in the agricultural industry, although there was positive growth in the construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors. However the importance of agriculture to national development is significantly greater. According to the 2001 Census agriculture employs approximately 8,500 persons, 30 % of the workforce, growing more than half of the food consumed locally. The industries experiencing significant decline in employment were fishing (-22.0 %) and manufacturing (-13.0 %). During 1991 - 2001 economic expansion occurred in the tourism sector. Compared to 1991 there was a 76 % increase in hotels and restaurants activities. Male employment in agriculture declined significantly by more than 50 % between 1991 and 2001. Meanwhile, employment in four industries (agriculture, construction, wholesale and retail trade transport, storage and communications) accounted for 58 % of the total males employed. By the time of the 2001 Census unemployment rates in Calliaqua and Marriaqua were below the national rates of 21.1 %. According to the Statistics Department comparable data at ED level have not been established.

8.5

Tri-Tri Fisheries Tri-tri is a local fish species, which naturally occurs in the Yambou River. Local people consider this fish as an important resource and expressed concern about the potential disappearance of this fish as a result of Project implementation.

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Given the socio-economic importance of this fish for the local population a separate study has been conducted. The relevant information and conclusions from the study are presented in Appendix III.

8.6

Social and Community Infrastructure The social and community infrastructure of the study area comprises: • Schools Primary school at Stubbs; Primary school at Peruvian Vale. • Police stations Stubbs; • Churches Methodist church at RC and 7th day Adventists Church at Stubbs; RC church at Argyle; • Sport facilities Playing field at Stubbs. Fire fighting services do not exist in the area, however fire hydrants have been integrated into the recently upgraded Windward Highway e.g. at Stubbs, Brighton and Biabou and other villages along the Windward Highway. There are 7 solid waste disposal sites on mainland St. Vincent. The official dumpsite serving the study area is located at Diamond, which is located in the southwest of the southern end of the future runway. Collection of household garbage takes place once a week. White waste can also be disposed of at the Diamond landfill site, but is the responsibility of the individual or owner.

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8.7

Public Health Health Care Facilities The MoHE is the main provider of health care. This care is provided through the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (the main referral hospital), the five district hospitals and thirty-nine Health Centres throughout SVG. The range of services includes programmes of primary, secondary and tertiary care. Mental Health services are provided through the Mental Hospital. This facility, although requiring serious upgrading, meets the needs of the poor. Family Planning, Nutrition Education and Health Education are also provided. The health care facilities within and close to the study area are the clinics at Biabou, Stubbs and Calder (out patient facilities) and a hospital at Mespo. Of these the clinic in Stubbs is the closest to the furture airport site.

Water Supply Mainland St. Vincent is well served by several water catchments and natural springs from which all potable water is derived. 92 % of the population has access to potable water provided by the Dalaway, Cumberland, Montreal and Mallorca systems. CWSA is currently building a 50,000-gallon water storage tank at Calder, which could be expanded if the demand increases following to increased residential, commercial and industrial development as a result of the airport development. Shortages may occur if there are three to four weeks without rain, but so far this only happens once a year on average 58. There are currently no major problems with water quality, although the CWSA is aware of the possible effects of poor agricultural practices, increased use of pesticides, and the destruction of forest vegetation.

58

Source: CWSA

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Sanitation The Kingstown sewerage system, managed by CWSA, is the only such system in SVG. According to the CWSA sewage disposal within the study area is organized by means of septic tanks. According to CWSA many of these tanks have not been emptied for many years. HIV/AIDS The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the adult population of the Caribbean is currently estimated to be 2.3%, the highest outside of Sub-Saharan Africa. The data on the trends of the epidemic in SVG, like many other countries in the region, have some limitations; nonetheless it indicates a growing problem with the highest yearly-recorded incidence of HIV / AIDS cases occurring in 2003. By 2002, HIV/AIDS was ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the country and cumulatively 688 cases of HIV and 391 cases of full-blown AIDS have been recorded since 1984, the start of the epidemic; 370 individuals are known to have died of AIDS. By 2001, the adult prevalence rate was estimated to be 0.9% (CAREC/CDC). The Government is implementing the National HIV/AIDS/STI Strategic Plan 20012006 - updated in February 2004. The plan is based on the Caribbean Strategic Plan of Action for HIV/AIDS and proposes five main strategies (Strategic Plan 2004-2009): (1) Strengthening inter-sectoral management, organizational structures and institutional capacity; (2) Developing, Strengthening and Implementing HIV/AIDS/STI Prevention and control programmes with priority given to youth and high risk/vulnerable groups; 3) Strengthen care, support and treatment programmes for people living with AIDS and their families; 4) Conduct research; and, 5) Upgrade Surveillance Systems. The SVG HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project was launched in January 2005 and supports the implementation of this National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan. The objective of this project is to support the GoSVG in scaling up priority programmes for prevention, treatment, care, and support programmes and strengthening of institutional capacity of the MoHE, other government ministries and agencies and civil society organisations.

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With regard to the present Project the HIV/AIDS issue will be relevant due to the specific circumstance that a large number of foreign male workforce will be accommodated at Argyle over a relatively long period of time (see Fig. 9 in Chapter 4.5). This site is located in the neighbourhood of villages that are considered to be among the poorest of Saint Vincent (namely lower Stubbs and Peruvian Vale). Such framework conditions expose the local population, and specifically the poor population of the neighbouring villages - to the risk of new infections. The national AIDS Unit operating under the MoHE therefore recommended specific preventive measures to be arranged within the framework of the Project. 8.8 Cultural Properties, Customs, Aspirations and Attitudes St. Vincent and the Grenadines became independent from Britain in 1979. Most of the population is of African descent. According to the World Fact Book the break down of ethnic groupings is as follows: • • • • • Black 66% Mixed 19% East Indian 6% Carib Amerindian 2% Other 7%.

Therefore SVG reflects traces of many cultures. The lasting influence of the French and the English still can be observed in cultural traditions, language and local architecture. A culturally distinctive group is represented by the small community of person of Carib ancestry, concentrated in the North of St. Vincent. This group has links with the Garifuna community of Belize and there are also contacts between the Carib populations of St. Vincent and Dominica. It is noteworthy that the petroglyphs that are present on the Project site are remnants of the ancestors of the Carib Indian population. There is also a minority of East Indians, which are descendants of last century immigration. The vast majority of the population is Christian and many are affiliated to one of the longer established religions. According to the World Fact Book the distribution

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among religions is: Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventists, Protestants 12%. The Roman Catholic (RC) Community will be impacted by the Project as the RC church located at the northern end of the future runway will need to be demolished for the construction of the runway. According to the MoHE the graves at the small nearby cemetery include Hindu, Muslim and Christian sites, which will be relocated. Negotiations with the RC community concerning the dismantling of the church and relocation of the cemetery being organized by the MoHE.

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9.
9.1

INDUCED AND CUMULATIVE IMPACTS AND THEIR CONTROL
Introduction Argyle International Airport is the largest project ever undertaken by the GoSVG. Regarding the economic, socio-economic and social effects of this Project there is a broad consensus among all stakeholders that there will be large scale indirect, induced and potential long-term development with environmental impacts that will reach far beyond the footprints of the new airport. This section of the EIA study puts the Project into a broader development context and briefly discusses other ongoing and planned developments that may add to or otherwise influence the impacts of the Project. Potential development scenarios are discussed in a descriptive manner as quantitative assumptions cannot be made in this context. The main purpose of this section of the EIA report is to draw attention to areas of potential conflicts and unwanted induced development and off-site impacts of the Project. This information would enable decision makers to make informed strategic decisions and initiate timely corrective measures and planning decisions.

9.2 9.2.1

Regional Context Current Spatial Distribution of Economic Activities Currently the economically most active and attractive areas of mainland St. Vincent are concentrated in the southern zone of the island, often referred to as the Greater Kingstown area. This area comprises the census divisions of Kingstown, suburbs of Kingstown and Calliaqua, including Arnos Vale and the E.T. Joshua Airport area. Greater Kingstown has 20% of the land and near 45% of the population of mainland St. Vincent. It is the fastest growing area of the island and home of the major administration services, educational, commercial, and recreational and employment activities, as well as social services.

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From a physical planning perspective Greater Kingstown is considered as overdeveloped, currently causing rural underdevelopment in terms of people, resources and activities. In the absence of a deliberate course of action there is a continuing trend of population moving to the Greater Kingstown area, creating severe pressure upon already limited land space, infrastructure and services. As a result of increasing demand for housing land in the Greater Kingstown area the prices of housing have significantly increased. Marginal land on steep slopes has been developed and good agricultural land converted to built environment, especially in the Calliaqua and Layou census divisions. 9.2.2 Road Traffic The main road traffic streams on the island currently are a) from Arnos Vale / Kingstown northwards via the Leeward Highway up to Chateaubelair, where the highway ends at Richmond Beach and b) from Kingstown / Arnos Vale via the Windward Highway and Villa in direction of Georgetown. North of Georgetown traffic is currently restricted due to the bad physical condition of the Windward Highway and ongoing rehabilitation works under Phase 2 of the Windward Highway Rehabilitation Project. An alternative route from Kingstown to the Project site at Argyle and the north east of the island is the Vigie Highway via Mesopotamia. This route is not widely known or used and considered as ‘difficult’ due to the topographical characteristics and the low design standards of this road. A look at the map of St. Vincent clearly shows this horseshoe situation of the main traffic routes of the island with the City of Kingstown in the centre. The disparate proportion of economic activities on the island is reflected in the unequal distribution of traffic volumes in various sections of the Windward and the Leeward Highway.

9.3

Major Current and Future Development Projects The major current and planned development projects on mainland saint Vincent are the following:

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Argyle International Airport As mentioned earlier in this report the New International Airport at Argyle is planned for approximately 735,000 passengers p.a. in 2015, however those figures are extremely ambitious. For the start of operations in 2011 the estimated number of passengers is in the order of 400,000 to 450,000 annually (note: E.T. Yoshua Airport had 331,000 passengers in 2006). The airport alone will create an estimated 500 to 1,000 jobs, which will add to the locally growing demand for housing, shopping and other commercial activities in the south east of St. Vincent;

Cross Country Road In order to permit road traffic between the West and the East of mainland St. Vincent the GoSVG has decided to build the so-called Cross Country Road to connect the western coast near Spring Village to the eastern coast near Friendly, south of Georgetown. This road is presently under construction and expected to be opened more or less at the same time as the new airport.

Commercial Complex Arnos Vale (present E.T. Joshua Airport Site) With the relocation of the airport from Arnos Vale to Argyle about 600 acres of land will be set free at Arnos Vale. There are ideas to convert this site into a new commercial complex, but the details have not currently been developed. If implemented, however, it is assumed that this attractive site will be developed to a high end standard and include both commercial and residential use.

Given the scale and nature of these public sector development projects and considering their location in the southern part of the island it can be expected that their combined effects will be massive. The development process induced by the cumulative forces of these projects will be highly dynamic and has potential to affect the economic, social and natural environment of mainland St. Vincent.

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9.4 9.4.1

Induced Development and Impacts Impact on the Regional Development and Land Use In the medium to longer term the new international airport in Argyle is expected to develop into a regional growth pole with far-reaching impacts on land use and spatial development. Supported by the effects of the previously mentioned public sector projects push and pull factors will emerge, which will add to the dynamics and dimensions of expected development patterns throughout the south and southeast of mainland Saint Vincent: • Argyle Area and Windward Highway The presently rural Argyle area will gradually develop into a new commercial centre with airport affine businesses like hotels, car rentals, warehouses etc. Over time and in the absence of local area zoning plans the growth pole developing at Argyle will entail ribbon development along the Windward Highway. Land values will appreciate in the Argyle area and throughout the Windward and Marriaqua Highways. If strong planning guidance and controls are not in place good agricultural land - which is a limited resource in St. Vincent - will be continuously converted to the built environment. If a proper planning process is not activated to prevent such scenario, induced development will go along with increased traffic and congestions, chaotic street parking and may result in safety woes. A further relevant aspect may be that continuous uncontrolled development and construction will also result in growing volumes of surface runoff, which over time have potential to affect land use in the lower lying areas, including the runway of the new airport.. • Arnos Vale and Kingstown As mentioned earlier in this chapter there is need for more spatially balanced development on mainland St Vincent. The new airport as a growth pole can help with the reversal of the current polarisation, ultimately leading to a relief of the overdeveloped and congested central Kingstown

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area. This may also affect residential developments, as demand may be created for settlements closer to the new employment centre in Arnos Vale. If the present E.T. Joshua airport site is properly planned and converted to urban uses at reasonable rates, the current trend development can be pulled away from central Kingstown for the advantages of lower rental rates, better parking conditions, etc., eventually leading to less congestion in the down town areas. In the longer term the Argyle area could be developed as a satellite town. • Peruvian Vale / Georgetown The new commercial centre expected to emerge at Argyle has potential to gradually spur development into the lagging areas in the north and to make them more attractive for population and settlement. In the longer term there may be a trend of dispersed concentration. The following figure provides a schematic overview on the expected island-wide impacts on the regional development and land use patterns induced by the Project. 9.4.2 Impacts on Traffic Volumes and Patterns Looking at the geographical situation of the new airport with respect to the existing commercial, residential and tourist centres in Saint Vincent it becomes obvious that most of the users of the new airport at Argyle will be using the southern section of the Highway: • • • • • Business persons travelling from or to Kingstown; More affluent or less poor parts of the population (~ 40%) who can afford air travel, live in the south of the island; The clients of visitor accommodation in the south or the large hotel in south leeward; Hotel guests using the ferry or sailing yachts; Commercial air cargo agents operating between Kingstown and Argyle.

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Agricultural and related exports will use the northern section of the Windward Highway and the Marriaqua roads. These circumstances suggest that there will be significant additional traffic on the Southern Highway, which is already congested. In addition there may be a change in the composition of the vehicle fleet - bigger buses, bigger trucks and may be fuel trucks for the supply of aviation fuel to the new airport. In 2004 the Windward Highway Rehabilitation Project has been presented in a Preliminary Design Review Report by DLN Consultants. Phase 1 of this project comprises the section from Diamond to Georgetown, which is currently under construction. The basic traffic forecast for this project relied on surveys carried out in September/ October 2000. The Average Daily Traffic (ADT) (two-way volumes) was derived from these traffic surveys. Two sites of that earlier traffic count were located on the main access between Kingstown and the Project site in Argyle and can thus be used as a basis for assessing the potential impact of the Project on traffic on the Windward Highway. The following table shows the results of the traffic counts carried out at Arnos Vale and Diamond in the year 2000. Tab. 13: Windward Highway ADT 2000 – Arnos Vale and Diamond
Cars Site Location Vans Light goods Light heavy Heavy ADT

No. 2 3 Arnos Vale Diamond 5,590 1,300

% 62 46

No. 1,803 819

% 20 29

No. 811 283

% 9 10

No. 451 226

% 5 8

No. 361 198

% 4 7

Veh/d 9,016 2,826

Source: DLN Consultants, 2004

As was mentioned earlier, the alternative route from Kingstown via Arnos Vale and Mesopotamia (‘Vigie Highway’) and then via the Yambou Gorge to Peruvian Vale / Argyle is presently used by relatively few vehicles only, probably due to the low design standard of this route.

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Fig. 20: Schematic overview of expected Project-induced impacts on regional development and land use patterns

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In June 2007 new surveys were carried out at two crucial locations, one identifying all vehicles entering the E.T. Joshua Airport site, and the other at the Mt. Pleasant / Stubbs junction. This survey provided the following figures: Tab. 14: Windward Highway ADT 2007 – E.T. Joshua Airport / Mt. PleasantStubbs
Cars Site 2 3 Location No. E.T. Joshua Mt. Pleasant 598 818 % 60 44 No. 298 335 % 30 Vans Light goods No. 76 % 8 13 Light heavy No. 30 206 % 3 11 Heavy No. 2 % 0 ADT Veh/d 1,005 1,842

18 242

241 13

Source: Chief Engineer, Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing

It is assumed that the traffic presently using the Windward Highway to E.T. Joshua Airport would go to Argyle International Airport in the future, thereby adding to the already existing traffic on the relevant sections of the Windward Highway. Comparing the present number of flight passengers at E.T. Joshua and the forecast for 2015 as provided by the IADC, traffic between Kingstown and the new airport at Argyle would rise by approximately +123 % (forecast of 737,000 passengers for the period 2015-2020 compared to 331,000 passengers in 2006). As regards the development of road traffic for this period the DLN study indicates a general growth rate of +3% p.a., which corresponds to an increase of +47% by the year 2020. Based on these figures a broad calculation of road traffic on the Windward Highway has been made for the year 2020, assuming the modal split shown in the previous table remains unchanged. Tab. 15: Windward Highway traffic forecast 2020 – Argyle Intl. Airport
Cars Site Location No. 2,534 % 50 No. 1,156 % 22 Windward Highway at Argyle Int.l. Airport 2020 Vans Light goods No. 525 % 11 Light heavy No. 370 % 8 Heavy No. % 259 9 ADT V/d 4,944

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Considering the already existing congestions on the Windward Highway it is obvious that this route alone cannot accommodate the anticipated rise of traffic volumes in the future. Alternative routes, i.e. the Vigie Highway and the Yambou River Gorge Road, would have to be upgraded or rehabilitated. In the longer term a new by-pass road to the Leeward Highway in the north of Kingstown may need to be built to ensure a smooth traffic flow in that part of the island. Even though detailed calculations are not yet available it can be safely said that the construction of a new international airport at Argyle will induce significant changes of prevailing traffic patterns on mainland St. Vincent: • • • The Windward Highway between Argyle and Kingstown in its present capacity will be congested and traffic is likely to collapse during peak hours; The short cut from Argyle to Kingstown via Mesopotamia will become more attractive, although the design standard is low; The roundabout at Arnos’ Vale where the Mespo and Mt. Pleasant routes join is already a bottleneck during peak hours and this situation will worsen in the future; • Workforce from the leeward coast of the island will be able to access the airport site and the new commercial centres via the new Cross-Country Road and the Windward Highway south of Georgetown; • Significant traffic disruptions between Kingstown and the new airport may encourage motorists to use the new Cross Country Road for approaching the areas northwest of Kingstown and vice-versa. Given the planned low design standard of that route traffic safety may become an issue over time and with growing traffic volumes, especially during the night. 9.4.3 Impact on Road Safety Data on road accidents are monitored by the Police Department in Kingstown, but not being processed electronically or in such a way that data could be retrieved for specific road sections under consideration. According to the Police Department accidents are mainly concentrated between Kingstown and Calliaqua on the windward and Kingstown and Lowman’s Bay on the leeward side, where the population density and traffic volumes are highest. With induced development

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expected throughout the Windward Highway south of Argyle road accidents rates are likely to generally increase in this area. Drag racing and over speeding can be frequently observed on the Windward Highway during the night, especially on the few straight stretches of the road. Speed controls are not being carried out by the police anywhere in the country and penalties for unsafe and risky driving behaviour is not being inflicted. It is thus assumed that over speeding and unsafe driving behaviour would continue to be a safety concern in the future, especially after the finalization of rehabilitation works on the Windward Highway. The possible night time transport of aviation fuel from Arnos Vale would be a specifically sensitive issue in this context. 9.4.4 Impact on Tourism It is to be assumed that the new international airport will generally give further impetus to the development of the tourism sector on mainland St. Vincent. The related infrastructure development is expected to follow the coastline to the northern and southern direction and also in the area of Greater Kingstown. The new Cross Country Road will reduce the travelling time between the east and the west coast of the island and thus improve the accessibility of some parts of the island, which were so far too remote for short-term visitors. Improved access creates opportunities for the development of tailored tour packages for daytrippers from the cruise ships or other short-term visitors of St. Vincent. Such development may also induce a demand for new services in various parts of the island, which again will have implications on regional traffic development and traffic patterns. The relocation of the airport from Arnos Vale to Argyle will increase travelling time between the airport and the ferry terminal by at least one hour. This factor together with the potential risk of incalculable delays caused by congestions on the Windward Highway may complicate the quick and easy sea transfer of travellers from or to the Grenadine islands. The demand for short time accommodation facilities between the new airport and the ferry terminal and for related services and arrangements may thus increase.

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The demand for more visitor accommodation near beaches, eco tourism sites etc. can be disastrous if no physical plans are in place to guide development in good locations and to ensure that quality facilities are developed. Tourism sites should be better managed and carrying capacities be established for management purposes. 9.4.5 Impact on Geological Resources Besides the new airport there are four other infrastructure projects in the area that are currently at various stages of planning or implementation respectively: • • • • Rehabilitation of the Windward Highway Phase 2 (20 km); Construction of the Cross-Country Road (~21.6 km); Realignment of the Windward Highway (2.8 km); Southern Link Road from Calder Junction to seaside agricultural, residential and recreational areas (~2.5 – 3 km). Aggregates required for the construction of the Windward Highway and the Cross Country Road are mined at the Rabacca quarry north of Georgetown. Due to their location it is assumed that this site will also be used for constructing parts of the other two projects59. All mentioned projects will be built within a relatively short period and together require relatively large amounts of aggregates60. Quantitative data on aggregates required for the implementation of the various ongoing and forthcoming development projects in the area are not available. However, OECC staff interviewed at the site assumed that in the past mining comprised about 40% of continuously replenished and 60% of old deposits. In addition to the materials required for these infrastructure projects there will be an increased demand for materials for the further development of the wider Pro59

Note: Rabacca quarry, together with Brighton and Chateaubelair has been declared as the primary source for aggregates under the Beach Protection Act of 1987 60 Note: For the present project alone 40,000 to 50,000 m³ of crushed aggregates will be required during a period of about 1 year when the upper layer of the runway will be constructed. The concrete source of these materials is not known at this point of time. Sourcing from Rabacca is unlikely due to the cost of the selective process for suitably hard material from this site.

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ject area. These developments are induced by the present Project and as such need to be discussed in the frame of thos study.

Rabacca Quarry Since mid 2005 the Taiwanese Overseas Engineering and Construction Company (OECC) operates a crusher within the Rabacca quarry. The site is located at about ¼ mile upstream of the bridge on the Windward Highway where there is permanent river flow available required for the plant operation. The crusher is reported to be one of the largest in the Caribbean region. According to OECC staff the plant is presently running below capacity, which is about 80 – 100 m³/h. GESCO, a government statutory body, is legally authorized to regulate the harvesting of sand and aggregates from Rabacca without quantitative restrictions. The Taiwanese OECC mines aggregates from the riverbed only (mainly for the implementation of the Cross Country Road Project) paying royalty to GESCO. According to OECC used and stocked aggregate from the Rabacca quarry amounted to approximately 40,000 m³ during a period of 18 months.

In the absence of any management plan to regulate mining operations at Rabacca, cumulating or peak demands and indiscriminate mining are likely to reach unsustainable in the medium to longer term. Further encroachment on the river banks would add to the already observed pressure on the local forest resources (e.g. in the west north west of the present quarry site) and sand mining at the river mouth may increase beach erosion at the site. Increased extraction rates together with the planned channelling of the river bed by OECC61 will increase the velocity of the stream flow and thus the sediment load and turbidity of the water discharged to the Sea. Information on the condition of marine environment in the area is not available, but marine resources and biodiversity are likely to be affected by the mentioned effects.

61

Source: OECC staff, personal comment

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An indirect effect of these unmanaged operations is the disfigurement of the landscape in an area where several tourism development projects are envisaged. The Windward Highway leading to further existing and planned tourism sites in the north eastern part of the island (Y. Village, Owia Salt Pond) also passes immediately next to the widely open, unmanaged site.

9.5

Positive Impacts Positive Impacts As described in chapter 1.5 it is the intention of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to diversify the economic base and to achieve balanced growth and sustainable development by promoting agriculture, industry and tourism. Especially tourism has an outstanding potential and could be developed to become the greatest foreign exchange earner of the country. The existing airport facilities have been identified as a major constraint for the future economic development. As described in chapter 2 and according to conclusions of previous studies extension of the existing E. T. Joshua Airport is technically not feasible. The new airport will contribute to overcome the main obstacle for future economic development. Therefore the positive impacts will be complex and nationwide. As described in the previous chapters the most important positive impacts are socioeconomic and spatial development effects. Positive Socioeconomic Impacts The airport alone will create an estimated 500 to 1,000 new jobs, which will add to the locally growing demand for housing, shopping and other commercial activities in the south east of St. Vincent. Thus the new airport is expected to contribute considerably to future economic growth and public welfare. Prerequisite for creation of a more spatially balanced development on mainland St. Vincent As described in Chapter 9.4.1 there is need for more spatially balanced development on mainland St Vincent. The new airport as a growth pole can help with the reversal of the current polarisation, ultimately leading to a relief of the overdeveloped and congested central Kingstown area. In addition the new commercial cen-

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tre expected to emerge at Argyle has potential to gradually spur development into the lagging areas in the north and to make them more attractive for population and settlement. In the longer term there may be a trend of dispersed concentration. In conjunction with the future cross country road the Argyle Airport will help to improve the currently disparate distribution of economic activities. People living on the leeward side will have easy access to the economically expanding Argyle area. In addition increased development is expected on the leeward site due to tourism development and better access from Argyle area via the new cross country road. Expected positive development trends are shown in Figure 20.

9.6 9.6.1

Conclusions and Recommendations General The mentioned public sector infrastructure projects and resulting induced development will generally result in increased pressure for new land to be developed in the south eastern sector of mainland St. Vincent. In the medium to longer term expanded economic activities will create great demands for the full range of public and private services and especially for land to be developed with housing, work places, commercial establishments, schools, parks etc. The demand is likely to rise in the near future and the scale and pace of demand for new development is expected to accelerate as the Project takes shape. As the value of the land in this part of the island will increase speculations will inevitably occur and induce conflicting and most likely unsustainable demands. First signs of such demands for new development can already be observed with expressions of interest being submitted to the IADC for the development for airport affine facilities on the low lying coastal areas east of the runway. The expected local and regional development and growth together with growing traffic volumes and changes of traffic patterns will not only have spatial planning implications but also increase the demand for the provision of upgraded and / or technical, transport and social infrastructure:

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As regards technical infrastructure there will be the need to provide utilities i.e. water and electric power supply as well as telecommunication for the new development areas of the island. This will go along with growing volumes of sewage, storm water and solid waste requiring significant public investment for the provision of new infrastructure and services;

Along with the expected regional shift of economic activities new housing schemes will need to be provided in or close to the affected areas, including social infrastructure like schools, sport centres, recreational areas, health care facilities etc.;

In terms of disaster preparedness the responsible institutions may need to consider that there is no capacity available to provide appropriate medical health care on the island in the case of a major aircraft accident and several hundreds of casualties;

Existing roads will need to be upgraded and additional new roads to be built to ensure smooth traffic flow and to meet the growing demand for efficient traffic connections. Required infrastructure investment may include the need to upgrade the Vigie Highway and to construct a new ring road around Kingstown.

Considering these island-wide indirect impacts there is a major risk for chaotic land use patterns to occur, with one development hindering the next, including the obstruction of the long-term development of the airport itself. Market forces cannot be relied upon to give the most efficient spatial pattern, land values and environmental protection, or guarantee sustainable development. State intervention will thus be required at the Project level through an Airport Master Plan as well as at national, regional and local levels in a holistic and integrated approach though spatial planning measures as provided by the town and Country Planning Act:

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9.6.2

Airport Master Plan The purpose of an Airport Master Plan is to guide long-term facility development by providing a framework for decision-making, given changing conditions in the local and national air transportation industry and community concerns regarding airport growth. The objective of the Airport Master Plan is to satisfy aviation demand in a financially feasible manner, while at the same time considering the aviation, environmental, and socio-economic issues affecting an airport.

The most crucial elements of the Master Plan, i.e. a detailed forecast of the expected air traffic and aircraft mix as well as induced road traffic, are not currently available. Therefore it is highly recommended to immediately establish A detailed forecast for aircraft movements and vehicle traffic as elements of A qualified Airport Master Plan covering a period of 25 years. The air traffic forecast will serve to calculate noise exposure levels so that steps may be taken for managing aircraft noise intrusion above significant agreed noise exposure levels and for providing guidance regarding the locations of additional new settlements. The urgency of establishing the Airport Master Plan results from the absolute necessity to ensure a harmonious controlled development of the airport and its surroundings prior to the finalization of the construction design phase. 9.6.3 National Physical Development Plan In order to meet the many existing and anticipated future needs of the country, it is essential that national physical planning policies be adopted as guidelines for development so that it can proceed in an orderly and balanced manner. The National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) is a planning tool, which provides the proposed broad strategy and long-term planning framework for physical development in Saint Vincent, including the Grenadine islands.

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Based on an nation-wide land capability analysis land would be demarcated for major uses like human settlements, industrial, commercial, recreational, protected areas, etc. to ensure capability with surroundings and ensure the protection of environmentally sensitive areas. It is understood that the GoSVG has recently invited tenders for the update of the draft NPDP. Given the expected high-level impact of the present Project on the regional development on mainland St. Vincent the potential induced and cumulative impacts of this and other relevant planned developments should explicitly be factored in that NPDP. The conclusions and recommendations of various other relevant projects such as the CZMR and the Flood Risk Assessment should also be taken into account. In addition, long-range regional and local plans will also need to be prepared within the framework of that NPDP at a more detailed level: 9.6.4 Spatial Development Planning A Spatial Development Plan is one of the planning tools for the implementation of the NPDP and the Airport Master Plan. The Spatial Development Plan will go into more detail than the latter and provide the legal framework for development control in a designated area. The concrete geographical extent of that plan may be flexibly defined according to the given circumstances and framework conditions. Given the scale of the expected impact of the Project and other relevant ongoing or planned developments the Physical Planning Board may opt for the Spatial Development Plan to cover the whole of the island for a planning horizon of about 20 years.

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‘Spatial planning involves twin activities: • the management of the competing uses for space; and • the making of places that are valued and have identity. Spatial planning is concerned with the location and quality of social, economic and environmental changes. It is the combination of these activities and concerns that characterise and justify the term ‘spatial planning’. The use of this term also emphasises that planning is as much concerned with the spatial requirements for, and impacts of, policies - even where these do not require a 'land-use' plan - as it is with land use zonings. The interrelationships, for example, of governmental policy can only be properly demonstrated by consideration of their aggregate impacts for specific places. Spatial planning operates at all the different possible scales of activity, from large scale national or regional strategies to the more localised design and organisation of towns, villages and neighbourhoods’

As regards timing it is urgently recommended that the Spatial Development Plan be established simultaneously with the Airport Master Plan to provide the required legal framework for effective development control in due time. The responsibility for the establishment of the Spatial Development Plans lies with HILP’s PPU.

9.6.5

Local Area Development Plan / Zoning Plan Local Area Development Plans or Zoning Plans are developed by the PPU of the HILP.

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report Theoretically, the primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible; in practice, zoning is used as a permitting system to prevent new development from harming existing residents or businesses. Zoning is commonly controlled by local governments such as counties or municipalities, though the nature of the zoning regime may be determined by state or national planning authorities. Zoning may include regulation of the kinds of activities which will be acceptable on particular lots (such as open space, residential, agricultural, commercial or industrial), the densities at which those activities can be performed (from lowdensity housing such as single family homes to high-density such as high-rise apartment buildings), the height of buildings, the amount of space structures may occupy, the location of a building on the lot (setbacks), the proportions of the types of space on a lot (for example, how much landscaped space and how much paved space), and how much parking must be provided. The details of how individual planning systems incorporate zoning into their regulatory regimes varies though the intention is always similar (Wikipedia)

Without anticipating the detailed content of the future local area development plan it is suggested to consider the following: Define the physical boundaries and the zones for residential and commercial development based on the results of the noise study contained in the Master Plan for the new airport; residential development should be strictly controlled within the 65 dBALeq busy day noise contour; Adopt the 150-year return period for the highest hurricane wave heights (12.30 m asl) for all planning applications, including the design of the land reclamation in the north of the runway; Earmark all low-lying land east of the new runway (from Yambou Head in the south and the mouth of Yambou River in the north) for the development a of coastal protection zone and nature-based recreation and potentially agricultural purposes (pasture); Determine a sufficiently wide river reserve (e.g. 10 m to either side) alongside the Yambou River, which will be kept free from any development to allow for the plantation / development of stabilizing riparian vegetation and wildlife habitat; Maintain access to the low lying grasslands between the runway and the Sea for local life stock farmers via the new peripheral road along the airport security fence;

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9.6.6

Yambou Watershed Management The Argyle International Airport is the key item of strategic infrastructure for SVG’s future economy. As such, it is essential that all risks to the uninterrupted operation of the airport be minimized. One such risk is damage to the runway as a result of flooding of the Yambou River and blocking of the river crossing. This risk is directly related to the condition of the Yambou catchment: lower watershed condition is associated with more and faster runoff and an increase in floating debris, and vice versa. Therefore it is recommended that: As part of Master Plan development in relation to the airport, consideration be given to establishing a permanent watershed management program in the catchment of the Yambou River. The program should aim to (i) increase the area of the catchment under forest; (ii) increase infiltration rates under bananas by improving mulching techniques and soil condition; (iii) establish riparian strips along all streams and watercourses (to reduce sediment inputs to streams from fields); (iv) increase infiltration rates in cultivated fields by better soil management and the application of appropriate soil conservation measures; (v) apply development controls to restrict increases in the area of paved surfaces and hard standing in the catchment. To achieve these objectives the program would have to undertake a range of activities including education and awareness, training and capacity building, developing incentives for behavioural change, and improving regulatory control and enforcement. Considerable inter-agency coordination would be required.

9.6.7

Management of Quarry Operations The cumulative demands of the various ongoing and planned development projects for aggregate together with further needs expected in the context of induced development in the areas will by far exceed the natural replenishment of the quarry from the mountains. In the absence of a proper management plan further haphazard unplanned extraction will reach unsustainable levels. Sand mined from the edges of the present quarry (where the most homogenous and therefore valuable sand deposits are found) may also affect the land where the North

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Windward Development Project and the Rabacca River Recreation Park Project are proposed (see chapter 7.4). No formal official restrictions exist with regard to the depth of extractions from the riverbed. As the newly built bridge over the Rabacca Dry River only has footings but no pipe foundations, uncontrolled material extraction may ultimately put the structure at risk. Safety risks for people and animals arise from the steep unprotected, unstable slopes at the edges of the quarry both in the north and the south and there appear to be no attempts to stabilise or protect these areas from further erosion or collapse. The need to regulate quarrying operations and to take informed decisions for a sustainable management of the geological resources of St. Vincent has been repeatedly addressed in the past (e.g. CZMR, 2006; Robertson, 2003). Given the expected island-wide development impact of the present Project it is recommended that this be taken as an occasion to Carry out an island-wide focused study to examine the present and projected requirements for crushed aggregates and sand for the construction sector on mainland St. Vincent; To ensure the sustainability of operations at the site it is strongly recommended that A comprehensive environmental management plan be put in place for the further operations of the Rabacca quarry. This plan should assess the capacity of the quarry based on natural replenishment rates, known deposit volumes and a survey and assessment of the surrounding physical, natural and human environment. The EMP should provide guidelines for the physical boundaries of future material extraction (horizontal and vertical), based on the assessment of surrounding existing and planned land use and natural resources.

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10.
10.1

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND THEIR MITIGATION
Introduction This following section examines and assesses the presently available design documents and environmental impacts that may occur during the construction and operational phase of the Project. Based on this feasible, cost-effective measures for the improvement of the Project’s environmental performance are proposed. These mitigation measures are numbered serially from 1 to 12. In addition recommendations are provided for further consideration. Recommendations are marked with a red dot. As was mentioned in chapter 3.3 of this report there have been a number of information gaps regarding the Project design and environmental baseline. This inevitably results in some gaps and uncertainties regarding of impact prediction and assessment – specifically in terms of quantity or magnitude of potential impacts or risks. In a first step the preliminary design of airside facilities (runway, taxiway and apron, drainage) has been critically reviewed. It has not been possible to directly interact or communicate with the design team in Venezuela and drawings or detailed information on some potentially critical features (e.g. Yambou River bridge and proposed mode of construction etc.) were not available to the study team. Therefore potential environmental concerns related to the design are highlighted and proposals made for decision making at the final detailed design stage. Regarding the design landside facilities of the new airport only a conceptual design existed when this report was written. In the absence of more detailed information the present report provides some recommendations on technical facilities and proposals for the subsequent planning phase, e.g. regarding fuel storage, waste management, wastewater treatment, maintenance operations, safety facilities and equipment etc. The proposed environmental mitigation measures for both air- and landside facilities and some strategic recommendations for the further design process are given in chapter 10.2. Construction of major infrastructure is inevitably associated with a series of environmental impacts and potential risks, which can be effectively mitigated by due diligence and best practice construction arrangements. Site-specific precaution-

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ary and organisational measures will be required with regard to clearance, earthworks, the protection and / or salvage of archaeological and cultural heritage assets, the relocation of the Yambou River and construction of the River crossing, the temporary protection of the naturally sensitive coastal and marine environment, the minimization of nuisance for local residents etc. These issues are discussed in chapter 10.3 of this report. A summary of the above is presented in table form in Appendices V and VI. These tables also indicate the institutional responsibilities for implementing the proposed measures. During the operational phase of the new airport a wide scope of tasks will have to be continuously managed in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner. In accordance with international best practice an operational environmental management plan (OEMP) will need be established which provides the framework for the organisation of future operations, management and continual improvement of environmental performance of the Argyle International Airport. The present EIA report provides a Conceptual OEMP in Appendix VIII. The proposed approach is based on the review of existing airport management plans and has considered the SVG context. OEMP elaboration and implementation will require decisions on the management and staffing arrangements for the new international airport followed by interdisciplinary teamwork and extensive consultations. Achieving acceptable environmental performance and safety standards for the overall Project will require action and decision making at four levels: Prior to the beginning of construction submission of all detailed design documents to appropriate technical institutions (e.g. to the Caribbean Civil Aviation in Antigua or ICAO in Canada) or to independent experts for compliance review and approval according to ICAO Annex 14 standards and recommendations; Follow-up and due consideration of all recommendations proposed in this EIA Report during the detailed and final detailed design and allocation of appropriate budget for the implementation of the proposed measures as required;

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Take necessary organisational arrangements on the side of both the IADC / the Construction Unit to ensure implementation of the measures presented in the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP); Establishment of an Environmental Department (ED) within the future AC to develop and implement an Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) compliant with ICAO recommendations and standards and based on the concept provided in this report in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Coordination and implementation of these actions will be the responsibility of the IADC and require follow-up, environmental management and monitoring.

10.2 10.2.1

Design Review Airside Facilities and Development Runway Usability: The ICAO Annex 14 defines for the evaluation of a runway orientation the so-called usability factor, determined by the prevailing wind distribution. This factor is defined with ‘the percentage of time during which the use of a runway... is not restricted because of the crosswind component. The crosswind component means the surface wind component at right angles to the runway center line.’ The usability factor should not be less than 95 % for those aircrafts that the airport is intended to serve. According to ICAO ‘critical wind speeds’ are defined as follows: • • 19 km/h or 10 kts for smaller aircrafts (ref. field length < 1,200 m), up to 37 km/h or 20 kts for larger aircrafts (ref. field length 1,500 m or more).

The runway orientation for Argyle with 02/20 is nearly in north/south direction. The prevailing wind between NNE and ENE has therefore a significant crosswind component. However, the wind speeds measured with average values of 5.8 kts or 11 km/h do not exceed these critical wind speed values, not even for the smaller airplanes, which are prevailing for Argyle, e.g. • ATR 42/DH 8A (required RWY length 1,090 m), or

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Aero Commander 500/Norman Islander (required RWY length < 1,200 m).

However it is recommended to Continue with the recording of wind data (speed and direction) to obtain annual wind roses, which are based on statistical wind data of minimum 5 years (according to ICAO recommendation) and to re-calculate again the usability factor with these data in accordance with the recommendation of ICAO. Land Reclamation and Coastal Zone Development: the Project is located in a zone of the island where the coast is exposed to strong winds and ocean currents, high wave energy, coastal erosion and the effects of storm surge and hurricane waves. Based on preliminary calculations of the highest return values of hurricane wave heights the CZMR (2006) recommended that the 1 in 150 years return period for the highest wave height be adopted for both planning and disaster preparedness applications. For the southeastern sector of St. Vincent in which the Project is located the CZMR indicates that according to preliminary calculations a deep-water wave height of 12.30 m will occur at least once in the next 150 years. Based on these indications the following mitigation measures should be implemented: Mitigation Measure #1 Mitigation Measure #2 Strictly ban any physical development in the low lying areas east of the runway / south of Yambou River; Earmark the area east of the runway / south of the Yambou Riveras coastal zone protection area and allow recreational use.

Yambou River Crossing: the Yambou River is crossed at approximately km 2.23 of the new runway. The river will have to be routed under the runway since a diversion to the north is not practical due to the intervening ridge and associated earthworks volumes. The presently available principal design solution is to carry the runway over the river by 7 prefabricated metallic and parallel pipe culverts of 4.45 m diameter each and a minimum of 171 m in length. The overall width of the structure for the Yambou River crossing will be nearly 40 m.

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The Yambou River has a large, steep catchment with extensive agricultural and residential development and is subject to periodic torrential rains. The resulting floods occur quickly, extend well above and outside the normal channel, and are responsible for the movement of large volumes of sediment and debris. The river’s bed load includes boulders with diameters greater than 1 m. Floating debris includes many branches and trees, especially if the rain event is associated with high wind as in tropical storms and hurricanes. It is common for culverts and bridges on St. Vincent to become blocked during floods as a result of the build up of floating debris, which then entangles rocks, plastic bags etc. This results in overtopping of the obstacle, with all the consequent damage. Whilst a bridge can be overtopped when blocked, the floodwater can then pass over the structure and may leave the bridge deck intact. The situation is different for a tunnel. A blockage would turn the runway embankment into a dam, with the water building up in the Yambou valley upstream. Given sufficient duration of the flood, the water would eventually rise to the level of the runway shoulder and would then flow to the north at the base of the cut slope and thence to the sea. Therefore it is recommended that: The design of the Yambou River crossing under the runway considers extreme floods and floating debris (“large organic debris”, i.e. trees); The runway drainage system in this location be designed to act as an emergency spillway for the Yambou River in case the culverts block; The culverts will be constructed from upstream to downstream foot of the culverts to a total length of approximately 310 m (see Fig. 25).

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Fig. 21: Proposed arrangement of culverts under the Yambou River

Runway cross-drains: the principally proposed solution for drainage of the airside facilities shows two runway cross-drains, in addition to the Yambou River. The concerns about extreme floods and blockage by floating debris at these cross-drainage structures are principally the same as for the river crossing. Another critical aspect is that surface runoff is generally expected to significantly increase in the future as a result of induced development in the wider area west of the runway. Therefore it is recommended that: The design of the cross-drainage structures should explicitly take into consideration that large scale development is expected to take place in the area uphill / west of the new runway, thereby significantly increasing surface runoff and also consider extreme floods and floating debris; The structures should be sized so as to permit safe removal of debris (i.e. minimum internal diameter 2.0 m); The runway drainage system should be reviewed in the light of possible blockage of the cross-drainage structures during extreme events; Land reclamation works: The northernmost part of the runway construction involves land reclamation works, but information on the concrete design and volume of the structure is not currently available. Introducing massive infrastructure in a sensitive and dynamic natural environment may influence the natural coastal currents and hence impact on the local natural pattern of seasonal beach erosion

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and accretion. Considering the local direction of ocean currents such process would essentially affect the low-lying coastal strip south of the land reclamation works, including the mouth of the Yambou River. Data on the relevant local ocean currents and other coastal processes are not available and it is unknown on wich assumptions the design has been made. To minimize any risk resulting from the potential effects of induced costal processes / destabilisation in the east of the runway the following mitigation measure #1 should be implemented: Mitigation Measure #1 Ensure strict control / prevention of any physical development in the low-lying coastal strip east of the runway;

It is further recommended to: Foresee demolishing of the existing Windward Highway including the 2 bridges as a part of the Project; Foresee re-establishment of appropriate underground conditions for the restoration / re-establishment of the natural coastal vegetation belt; Consult with Forestry Dept. for plantation of appropriate vegetation for coastal protection (e.g. sea grape) along the coastline over a minimum width of 30 m from the coastline. Considering the high-energy characteristics of the windward coast there is also a risk that the new structure itself may be damaged or destroyed as a result of continuous high wave energy and ocean currents, or as a result of extreme weather events, e.g. hurricane and storm surge. For the southeast sectors of mainland St. Vincent in which the Project is located, the CZMR 2006 recommended a concrete strategy for both planning applications and disaster preparedness. Based on this and to ensure safety and the long-term stability of land reclamation the works it is recommended that: The 150-year design return period for the highest hurricane wave be adopted for the design of land reclamation works62.

62

This corresponds to a significant wave height of 12.5 m and a peak wave period of 16 s

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Erosion control on slopes: the large volume of earthworks required to create a level runway and associated platform and landside facilities will result in the creation of a large area of cut and fill slopes (approximately 16 ha and 31 ha respectively). These will have a slope angle of up to 1:7 and 1:8 vertical: horizontal and a maximum slope length of about 160 m. Since these slopes will be relatively impermeable (the cut slopes as in-situ material, the fill slopes due to compaction for structural stability), they will generate large volumes of surface runoff during intense rains, which are a normal occurrence during the rainy season. On the fill slopes this runoff will be augmented by surface drainage from the paved runway and grassed shoulders. It is clear that both the cut and fill slopes will require protection to avoid damage from overland flow. The large areas involved and high visibility from both the land and the sea suggest that a vegetated surface would be preferable to concrete or other hard armouring. Any such vegetation should meet strict technical criteria with respect to resistance to flow, ease of maintenance, and lack of attractiveness to wildlife (for safety reasons). In addition to the already proposed slope steps some further structural protection measures may be required. It is likely that some combination of treatments including a drainage blanket, concrete honeycomb, replacement of stripped and stored topsoil, and low-maintenance grass is likely to be most sustainable. Therefore the following mitigation measure #3 should be implemented: Mitigation Measure #3 Design of the cut and fill slope finishes will include detailed consideration of resistance to erosion, with a focus on bioengineering. Landscaping: the airside facilities will require detailed landscape treatment to ensure the establishment of stable surfaces (runway shoulders, cut slopes, fill slopes, natural ground) resistant to erosion, not attractive to wildlife, visually acceptable as the gateway to SVG, and easy to maintain. Therefore it is recommended that: Detailed design of the airside facilities include development of a landscaping plan which considers how to achieve a sustainable vegetation cover meeting engineering, safety and visual criteria;

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10.2.2

Landside Facilities Regarding the landside facilities only a preliminary design (4)63 was available when this report was written. In the absence of more detailed information the present study highlights some issues of potential environmental concern to support further decision making in the design of the landside facilities. According the 1998 MMM report (2; p. 4-15) and the Preliminary Design (4) land requirements will be as follows: Land Use Categories
Airfield (runway, taxiway, navigation aids, obstacle imitation areas) Apron 1 - passenger Apron 2 - cargo

Future area (ha)
42.0 2.8 0.2

Remarks

Apron 3 - general aviation

0.2

may have to be extended to 0,8 ha may have to be extended to 0,8 ha

Passenger terminal -passenger terminal building, parking, access road; Air cargo - cargo building, parking, access road; General aviation: hangars, offices, parking, access; Airport support (air traffic control, fire brigade, etc.) Airport affine land uses - commercial, tourism, industrial;

7.2 4.8 4.8 5.0 40.0
may have to be reduced due to topography

Agricultural / forest Other government use

15.0 30 152.0
not specified

Total Site

When looking at the Concept Design General Plan (3) it is difficult to find the corresponding areas as this plan, focussing on the airside development only, shows a bare stripped structure of landside facilities to the west of the runway. Especially the possible developments of the landside between the terminal building
63

in the following section the figures in brackets refer to the reports indicated in chapter 3.1 of this report.

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and the relocated Windward Highway are not considered and therefore not shown. The same applies to options for the future expansion of the passenger terminal, for the cargo warehouse or the general aviation hangars. This may lead to conflicting situations regarding land use, which then may be result in building facilities on inappropriate land. The presently shown boundaries of the Airport area would thus shortly get under high pressure from competing and conflicting demands for land development. The adequate response to this is to: Elaborate a commonly accepted Master Plan in conjunction with a Land Use / Zoning Plan of the area. Issues to be considered in that planning process are: Coastal strip between runway and the Atlantic Ocean In accordance with the recommendations of the CZMR 2006 the coastal strip between the runway and the Sea should be kept free of any airport affine development. Access roads from the relocated Windward Highway to the different facilities on the landside The access roads to the cargo area and passenger terminal should allow for undisturbed independent use; Position and accessibility of the fuel farm The fuel farm should be sited such that fuel trucks would not have to pass the security check each time they are serving aircrafts. A better position would be on the boundary between airside and landside or to have a pipeline to a fuelling station on the airside.

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Dimensioning of the passenger terminal The proposed dimension comprises 4,000 to 5,000 m² gross external area. This needs to be reviewed in accordance with the update of the traffic forecast. The terminal layout should take into account easy and differentiated expansion for major functions, i.e. check-in, security, waiting lounges, baggage handling and baggage claim; Accessibility of the runway from the fire brigade The runway and fire brigade must be located at the same horizontal level. The presently available calculation of cut and fill does not consider a major additional fill area located to the south of the apron; Position and height of the control tower The proposed position of the control tower does not consider the possible commercial landside development west of the terminal, which may require additional excavation works to create a level area. The height of the control tower would increase accordingly (up to approx. 50 m! Stability against hurricanes!), especially as the sight lines would have to cover the whole length of the runway from threshold to threshold as well as the taxiways and apron. Therefore a more appropriate site will need to be found for the tower; Facilities for aircraft maintenance (hangars and apron area) The documents referred to do not consider this function; Facilities for in-flight catering The documents referred to do not consider this function either; Position of the waste incineration plant Considering the main wind direction from northeast, the proposed position of the waste incineration plant in the south of the building zone may be acceptable for the neighbouring residential areas; Position of an emergency power plant The documents referred to do not consider this function;

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Position of a water reservoir The proposed position will have to be reviewed as it interferes with the possibilities of landside commercial development and others; Windward Highway The alignment and the design parameters of the Windward Highway may have to be reviewed under the aspect of the future high traffic volumes generated by the airport site and the related landside development (see also in chapter 9.4.2 of this report); Parking facilities The parking area that is shown on the General Plan (3) corresponds to approximately 100 lots. This is certainly not enough regarding the passenger forecasts provided in (2) and the reference airplane B747-400, but also in view of the distance to major settlements on the island in conjunction with the lack of public transport. These figures and the layout will thus have to be reviewed and additional parking areas for passengers, well-wishers and welcomers, taxis, minibuses, delivery vans and trucks will have to be defined. The position of this additional parking space will considerably increase excavation requirements to the west of the terminal building zone; Layout of the drainage system According to the presently available principle layout solution all surface runoff from the future airport will be discharged via 2 pipe culverts that will be crossed by the runway and the system of culverts at the Yambou River crossing. According to the Chief Design Engineer no surface run off shall be discharged into the Yambou River. In the future, however, large scale induced development is expected in the west (and thus uphill) of the new airport64, which will generate large volumes of additional surface runoff. The presently available documents do not explain the design criteria or show a specific response to this issue. Airport fencing According to the provisions of ICAO Annex 14 the airport site will have to be secured by an airport perimeter fence providing controlled access from landside to
64

See chapter on ‘Induced and Cumulative Impacts’

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airside. The fence will need to be supervised, controlled and maintained. Therefore a drivable path will need to be provided to either side of the fence. The available documents do not show either the fence or the security path. Construction materials for buildings Buildings developed on the windward coast of Saint Vincent will be generally exposed to extreme climatic factors like strong winds, sea blast and heavy rains which may encourage corrosion and cause moisture problems and decay. The design of the airport buildings in such climatically aggressive coastal environment will therefore have to duly consider performance standards, durability65 and life cycle cost of any construction material. Generally, the selection of construction materials for any buildings on the airside should be restricted to such products that are specifically designed for utilization in wind-exposed areas and resistant to corrosion. An important factor to be considered in that context is that windresistant materials will only be as good as their connections and fixations. A further relevant aspect is that coastal environments are conducive to metal corrosion. This would mainly be the case within a 1,000m zone inland from the coast. Therefore metal structures and hardware should be hot-dip galvanized or even stainless steel providing effective coatings. Reinforced steel should also be specially protected by a thicker than average concrete insulating layer, or even galvanized or epoxy-coated reinforced steel in case of critical structural elements. Aluminium is naturally highly resistant to corrosion, which may be further improved by anodizing. When combining different metals joints have to be carefully designed; direct contact of different metals should be avoided. The durability of timber will vary according to the tree species and finish. Generally the durability of timber increases with its density. For ecological reasons only plantation growth and recycled timber should be used. Durability can be improved by treatment with preservatives and subsequent surface coating, e.g. painting or varnishing. The site of the new airport being exposed to the effects of strong seaborne winds will require protective hangars for aircraft that may be positioned there perma65

Durability is the ability of a material to resist wear, decay and other destructive processes, whether of physical, chemical or biological nature and whether they arise within the material itself or act externally.

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nently and for the smaller aircraft used by General and Business Aviation. For the larger passenger and cargo aircraft with only short stopovers it is assumed that no additional protective hangars would be required. Optimisation of cut and fill The Preliminary Design Report (3) plan No V-05 Profile Longitudinal Variant 3, Table: Summary of Volume, showed the figures for the embankments only (column I in table below). These figures were updated in December 2007 according to the most recent layout and include the area of the terminal and the other adjacent buildings (II). However, further review will be required with regard to the cut and fill of landside development and the fill needed for the depression between general aviation/cargo apron and the route of the fire brigade to the runway (III; IV).
I Approx. Volume in m3 Preliminary Design II Update Preliminary Design 4,760,000 470,000 4,290,000 3,300,000 3,755,000 450,000 3,285,000 + 15,000 III Add. volumes for landside development 1,400,000 50,000 1,350,000 1,040,000 400,000 50,000 350,000 + 690,000 IV New total estimate (m³) 6,160,000 520,000 5,640,000 4,340,000 4,155,000 520,000 3,635,000 + 705,000

Cut % Topsoil (0.5 m) Residue Compacted (1:1.3) Fill Top soil (0.5 m thick) Ground fill Balance

3,527,000 470,000 3,057,000 2,351,000 2,945,000 450,000 2,495,000 - 144,000

The expected overall surplus volume of approx. 700,000 m3 (plus 12,000 m³ and topsoil originating from the relocation of the Windward Highway) will have to be optimised during the final designs of air and land side under environmental aspects. 10.2.3 Strategic Issues Technical details of various environmentally relevant facilities, plants and arrangements were not yet decided when this report was written. The following is

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meant to provide guidance on selected strategic issues in the further design and decision-making process. Airport aviation fuel supply By international standards fuel storage for the new airport should at a minimum cover the total demands for a 1 month period, which is assumed to be in the order of 4,000 m³. Basic options for supplying fuel to the new airport site are: • • • • Transport via pipeline from Camden Park / Lowman’s Bay; Road transport from Camden Park / Lowman’s Bay via the Windward Highway; Road transport from Arnos Vale via the Windward Highway; Delivery direct to site by short pipeline from new terminal at Argyle.

All options include fuel storage at the airport. Pipeline from Camden Park This option would involve construction of a new pipeline from Camden Park to the airport, together with the systems required to separate different grades of fuel to prevent contamination through use of a multi-product pipeline. This option would avoid the safety hazards of road transport, but is probably unrealistic due to the very high investment costs. Road transport from Camden Park / Lowman’s Bay Road tankers carrying aviation fuel would have to pass through Kingstown and continue via the Windward Highway to Argyle, a trip of some 25 km one way. Neither the densely built up roads of Kingstown nor the newly upgraded Windward Highway between Arnos Vale and Argyle have adequate design standards for the regular transport of large volumes of hazardous goods by heavy vehicles. Other constraints on the Windward Highway are the dense residential development along the highway, St. Vincent’s main tourist development areas around Villa and the expected further development of the southeast corner of the island as a result of Project implementation.

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Road transport from Arnos Vale The Texaco tank farm at Arnos Vale, which presently supplies E.T. Joshua airport, is directly supplied by oil tankers from Venezuela. Road tankers from this location would avoid Kingstown but would still travel along some 15 km of the Highway through the Villa tourist area and residential development. Direct supply to Argyle airport by tanker from Arnos Vale would involve (a) day- and/or night time tanker traffic with associated safety issues, and (b) expansion of the existing Arnos Vale tank farm, a land use counter to existing infrastructure (e.g. cricket stadium) and proposals for development of this site. Delivery by Sea direct to site This option involves the construction of a new sea terminal for oil tankers at or near Argyle. The absence of a harbour suggests use of a floating terminal, possibly based on flexible pipelines towed out to tankers moored at offshore buoys. This stretch of coast is highly exposed and subject to onshore winds and rough seas. Any spills here would be carried by prevailing currents towards the tourist and recreational areas of the south coast and to Milligan Cay Bird Sanctuary. Clearly, none of the above options is ideal due to their various environmental, safety and economic drawbacks. Due to the complexity of the issue and a lack of relevant information it is impossible to make further statements to this regard or to rank any of these options with regard to their environmental or safety implications in the frame of this study. Therefore it is recommended that: The aviation fuel supply and storage system for the airport be subject to detailed study to develop a socially, environmentally and economically viable concept. The selected concept should be incorporated in the airport Master Plan. Position of the Fuel Farm The proposed off-site position of the fuel farm is assessed as a major safety risk and environmental pollution hazard. Tank trucks would furnish the facility via the Windward Highway. The position proposed in document (3) implies that fuel transport from the fuel farm to the aircraft stands on the apron would use public roads and go through an additional security check at the boundary to the airside. From there the fuel transport would continue through a conglomerate of aircraft

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hangars and cargo warehouses which all together results in an unacceptably unsafe route. Locating the fuel farm on the landside would also require additional oil/fuel separators to be provided at this site. It is thus recommended to Locate the fuel farm on the airside together with a fuelling pipeline station on the landside accessible from the Windward Highway. Waste Incineration Plant The preliminary design documents indicate that a waste incineration plant is foreseen for the new Airport. Such facility would basically be needed for the treatment of quarantine waste, i.e. any waste imported into Saint Vincent by aircraft that comprises food, vegetable, meat or dairy or any part of such matter. To operate the incineration plant in an economic and environmentally sound manner general solid waste will have to be segregated from quarantine waste. Materials that would require special fume filters in the incineration process would also have to be screened out prior to incineration. This approach will require the development of a waste management strategy that focuses on waste avoidance, recycling and reduced waste disposal. Materials to be segregated and subsequently recycled are wood, metals, plastics, cardboard, and paper, magazines, glass and light fitments. To this regard the recommendations are as follows: Foresee a state of the art incineration plant with fume filters adequate to minimize emission of carcinogenic substances as well as particulates. An orientation for the selection of the type of incineration plant could be the US Code of Federal Regulations (Title 40 CFR Part 60) for ‘New Small Municipal Waste Combustion Units (US EPA, Dec. 6, 2000), which defines standards of performance for new stationary sources with throughputs < 25 t/year. According to the CWSA emission levels of the new incineration plant are expected to be compliant with EU or WHO guidelines. Set up a waste management plan to avoid solid waste at source and to minimize the export of solid waste from the Airport to the landfill; Recycle at least 50% of the solid waste disposed at the Airport prior to in cineration.

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Storm Water Management and Treatment The newly built aircraft aprons, taxiways, runway, car parks and buildings result in large impervious surfaces und thus in an increase of surface runoff, which must be rapidly discharged from the site, especially in cases of heavy rainfall. Surface run off from the apron may be contaminated and therefore require treatment, while run off from other areas is uncritical to surface water quality. Operational risks are related to the transport and transfer of large volumes of liquids, particularly oils and fuels. Therefore the following mitigation measures are to be implemented: Mitigation Measure #4 Foresee balance ponds for surface run off from roofs, taxiway and runway at strategic locations together with a network of infiltration ditches to slow down surface runoff and encourage infiltration; Mitigation Measure #5 Provide an oil/water interceptor for the drainage of storm water from the apron;

In addition it is recommended to: Develop a strategy for storm water quality management to minimize water contamination from standard operations. Sewage Treatment from Aircraft Sewage from aircraft is concentrated and usually contains disinfectant chemicals. This aircraft sewage cannot be discharged of in simple septic tanks, but will need to be treated on-site prior to being discharged into the Sea. In accordance with international standards as mitigation measure #6: Mitigation Measure #6 A tailor-made package plant for the treatment of aircraft sewage will need to be provided on-site. The proper functioning of this plant will need to be regularly monitored and treated effluents are expected to be compliant with the relevant EU or WHO standards.

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Energy Effectiveness In accordance with SVG’s declared environmental development principles is suggested that the new airport be designed as a pilot project for efficient energy supply and minimum energy consumption. To reach this ambitious goal specific design skills will be needed and monitoring required during operation. Such approach would give the airport a modern, positive image and enhance its acceptance among local travellers and overseas visitors. The recommendations proposed for achieving energy effectiveness would be to: Conceive the terminal buildings (arrival and departure halls) as open-air structures; Strive for a maximum annual energy consumption of 30 kwh/m² for all airport buildings, at least 20% of which should be from renewable resources; Combine the emergency power plant with a co-generator to produce electricity and cooling water for air-conditioning of selected areas within the terminal and associated buildings. Active Air Pollution Management The present traffic forecast (MMM, 1998) indicates up to 737,000 passengers annually. This corresponds to about 3,000 travellers on a busy day or 400 passengers during a typical peak hour, which would use the Windward Highway from or to the airport. These figures would have to be added to the traffic, which is already affecting traffic flow on the Windward Highway. Airport management should therefore contribute to a policy of active air pollution control at source: Provision of tailor-made arrangements for staff transport to and from the airport; All newly purchased vehicles operating inside the airport should be battery-powered or at least MOT-tested; Elaboration of attractive public transport arrangements between the airport and main settlements or points of interest on standard traffic routes; Review the position and dimensions of the aprons to optimise taxiing and manoeuvring of aircrafts.

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10.3 10.3.1

Construction Phase Impacts Introduction The following section provides an overview of the significant adverse impacts that will or that may occur during the construction period and proposes measures to offset these impacts, or, where this is not feasible, to minimize them to acceptable levels.

10.3.2

Impacts on the Physical Environment Climate Climatic effects of the Project will occur at local levels only and mainly result from the alteration of the natural topography and the construction of sealed surfaces at the expense of green spaces: The levelling of the terrain for the construction of the runway will influence local air currents and the exposure of some inland terrain to seaborne winds, thereby locally increasing the effects of sea blast. This will mainly be the case leeward of the existing hills in the Mt. Pleasant area and further north in the west of the runway, where the hill with the RC church will be cut down. Air temperature and humidity content of the air will be locally influenced by the creation of large sealed surfaces in the area of airside and landside facilities at the expense of green open spaces. Due to the scale of these effects and the absence of sensitive receptors in the potential area of influence the significance of the impact on climatic factors is generally considered as low. Therefore further investigations on this issue are not required.

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Ambient Air During clearance and earthwork operations there will be a temporary adverse impact on air quality in terms of increased dust suspension and gaseous emissions from the movement of heavy machinery and equipment. According to IADC’s implementation schedule this impact will occur over a minimum period of 3 years (2008 to end of 2010), gradually shifting from south to north. Dust will inevitably occur at and inside the construction corridor throughout that period. During the final stage of construction dust will also be generated alongside the haul route from the quarry from where aggregate for the upper layer of the runway will be obtained. Estimating a required aggregate volume of 40 to 50,000 m³ and an average volume of 10 to 12 m³ per truckload the number of trips between the mining site and Argyle will total to about 4,000 to 5,000. Assuming a 1 year period for the implementation of these works and 7 workdays per week this would correspond to an average of approximately 9 to 12 trucks a day. Dust nuisance will be an issue of concern throughout the construction period and especially during earthworks. Given the prevailing wind directions from the north east the residents living in the west of the construction site are likely to be more affected than residents in the eastern parts of Mt. Pleasant. In addition dust will be a health and safety issue for the workforce at the site. It is assumed that dust nuisance will mainly become topical in very dry periods and wherever clearance, earthworks, material transport or construction takes place in the vicinity of settlements. In addition, dust generation can adversely affect the health and safety of construction workers at the site. The level and significance of dust generation and nuisance can be effectively mitigated through Mitigation Measure #7 Regular spraying of the haul routes and the work area; covering trucks where the haulage of material involves transport on public roads; timely and regular cleaning of public roads as required.

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Water for this measure can be obtained locally from the Yambou River, which is the only perennial stream of the study area. Exhaust fumes from heavy construction equipment will temporarily adversely affect ambient air quality. The concentration of air pollutants will be highest at the immediate construction site and generally decrease with increasing distance from the source. As north eastern and eastern winds prevail emissions will be blown in direction of the sensitive receptors, i.e. the residential areas of Stubbs, Calder and Argyle. Considering the strength of the winds, the scattered nature of the neighbouring settlements and their distance from the construction corridor it is not expected that significant nuisance from air pollution will occur. The absolute level of construction-related ambient air pollution can be minimized by Proper site management and construction organisation by good maintenance of the vehicle fleet and by immediately excluding over-aged or worn out vehicles and machinery from the construction site. The operation of the asphalt plant is a potential source of harmful emissions, which may affect the human and the natural environment and the health of the workforce. To mitigate the health and environmental risks associated to the operation of the plant IDAC should ensure that as mitigation measure #8: Mitigation Measure #8 The site of the asphalt plant will be at a minimum distance of 100 m from any watercourse or residence. Prevailing wind directions should be taken into consideration when the site is selected. To this regard a method statement should be provided to the IADC providing all relevant information on the location and operation of the plant in accordance with the relevant standards In addition air quality should be monitored throughout construction phase. Parameters to be measured are dust, TSP (Total Suspended particulate), smoke of asphalt plant, Nox, SO2, Pb, CO and THC. For organisation of measurements institutional support is necessary as indicated in chapter 10.9.

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Soils The implementation of the Project and the associated earthworks and construction of some 26 ha of impermeable surfaces are expected to have significant impact on soils. This impact will be long-term and irreversible and mainly affect productive soils that were previously used for agricultural purposes. The impact will be irreversible and direct as regards the construction of airport facilities and irreversible and indirect as regards the expected induced development of the wider area in the medium to long term. During preliminary design there have been major efforts to minimize the scale of required earthworks, which has an immediate effect on cost but has also reduced the magnitude of the overall impact of the Project on soil resources. As regards site clearance the impact on soils can generally be minimized by mitigation measure #9: Mitigation Measure #9 Taking a phased approach for the removal of vegetation to minimize the period of exposure of bare soils, especially in the area of steep slopes. These shall remain in their initial state as long as practically feasible. Prior to the beginning of site clearance operations the construction unit shall submit a method statement on how they propose to proceed in this respect and obtain approval thereupon from the IADC.

During construction exposed soils may be degraded as a result of compaction and nutrient leaching. Considering the expected - and intended - future shift from a rural to a commercial area the maintenance of soil productivity is not considered a primary concern during construction. However, from an environmental perspective it is not desirable that nutrients be washed to the Sea and the protection of temporarily stored topsoil is required for its subsequent reuse. In this respect the following mitigation measure shall be considered to secure environmentally sound top soil management:

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Mitigation Measure #10.1 Mitigation Measure #10.2

Locations for the temporary storage of topsoil shall be selected such that there will be no washout into the Yambou River, temporary streams or the Sea; To minimize disturbance of natural habitat and/or wastage of productive land or pastures site selection for the temporary storage of topsoil should as much as possible use such areas that are owned by the IADC and that will anyhow be built upon at the later stages;

Mitigation Measure #10.3 Mitigation Measure #10.4

Organisation of construction should aim at minimizing the storage period for topsoil, e.g. by gradually replacing the topsoil where embankment construction has been completed; Prior to the beginning of construction a method statement showing the proposed temporary storage sites and modes of soil management over the construction period shall be submitted to the IADC for approval.

During construction increased surface run-off can have a detrimental effect on neighbouring soils through continued erosion. This effect can most effectively be controlled by Providing appropriately designed, effective drainage and engineering techniques and by ensuring that all exposed soils on the cleared surfaces and new embankments will be vegetated as soon as practically possible upon completion of earthworks. Surface Water Resources During construction surface water resources may be affected by accidental spillage of hazardous substances into a river or streams or by inappropriate management practices. Construction of the Yambou River crossing is another potentially critical issue. The following mitigation measures should be implemented:

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Mitigation Measure #11

Discharge of sediment laden construction water (e.g. from areas containing dredged spoil or pumped ground water from foundations) directly into surface water courses will be forbidden. Where advised by IADC’s environmental monitoring unit sediment laden construction water will be discharged into settling ponds or tanks prior to final discharge. This applies particularly to the crossing of the Yambou River and its tributary.

Mitigation Measure #12

Carry out water quality monitoring on the Yambou River. As no relevant previous data on the quality of the Yambou River exist, measurements should commence as soon as possible. Such pre-construction data collected over a longer period would be the only reference to assess potential subsequent impact of construction or future operation on the local water resources66. Proposed parametres: pH, conductivity, turbidity, TDS NO3, N,P, NH3, COD, BOD,TDH; heavy metals: Pb, Mg, Zn, Cu, Cd, Hg. Standards: It is proposed to use European Union Standards. During the operation phase water quality shall be further monitored on the basis of regular measurements.

For organisation of water quality measurements institutional support is necessary as indicated in chapter 10.9. For surface water protection it is in addition recommended that: The Construction Unit will submit a statement with the proposed method of construction of the structure crossing the Yambou River and the measures that are envisaged to avoid surface water pollution. This method statement will be reviewed and approved by IADC’s Environmental Monitoring Unit / the CWSA prior to the beginning of construction;
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During the operational phase of the Project river water quality (both up- and downstream of the runway crossing) would become one of the permanent monitoring programmes to be carried out by the to be created Environmental Department of the future Airport Management Authority.

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Washing of vehicles or any construction equipment in the Yambou river or any other stream that directly discharges into the Sea shall be strictly forbidden. The Construction Unit (CU) shall provide to the IADC a method statement on how and where they intend to practically proceed with the cleaning of their vehicle fleet and equipment. The guiding principle of these operations shall be to prevent any surface water pollution at source; Yard and Workshop The yard and workshop, if not appropriately designed and managed, can be sources of significant pollution and risks for human health and safety. The CU will need to set up a yard and workshop where large volumes of hazardous / combustible materials and water pollutants will be stored. To minimize safety risks of surface water contamination the CU will be required to Provide specially designed and secured storage areas for diesel and lubricants; Set up a specifically designed, well accessible area for the safe storage of diesel. The diesel storage site shall have a containment in concrete and be located at a minimum distance of 50 m to other combustibles. The tank must be elevated to a minimum of 3 m above ground on a concrete platform and metal saddles. The size of the platform would depend on the type of supply (i.e. pumping or gravity). The CU shall submit a method statement on the proposed design of the site to the IADC who may get support from the NEMO/SOL in reviewing this statement. The NEMO and SOL are currently working on management controls for toxic and oil spills. The IADC’s Environmental Monitoring Unit (the ‘Competent Person’, see section 12.3.1 of this report) may receive advice and guidance on how to practically deal with these issues during the construction process. Management of Construction Waste During a large scale construction project large amounts of waste will be generated such as scrap tires, used oil, drums and other packaging materials, derelict vehicles and other scrap metals etc. To ensure a proper waste management at the construction site the CU shall ensure to fully comply with the provisions of the

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applicable standards for waste management operations and requirements for licences and permits (Parts II and III of the Solid Waste Management Regulations of 2006). To this regard the CU shall Submit a method statement on how solid waste from the site (especially hazardous waste; derelict vehicles, waste tires, used oil) would be managed in accordance with the applicable Solid Waste Management Regulations. This method statement would have to be submitted to the solid waste unit of the CWSA for approval prior to or at the possibly early stages of construction. Tires that cannot be reused on the island (e.g. for slope stabilisation or to protect against coastal erosion) will have to be collected at the site 67 and be cut, chipped, shreddered or otherwise permanently reduced in volume prior to their final disposal at an officially approved site. Burning of tires at the site will be strictly prohibited. No facilities are available on the island for the environmentally safe disposal or recycling of used oil. Therefore the CU shall be required to Collect and temporarily store any used oil at the site in an environmentally safe manner; Make provisions for the recycling of all used oil from the site by shipping it to one of the regional refineries (e.g. Trinidad or Curacao)68;. Provide a method statement on the proposed design of the site for the temporary storage of used oil and lubricants and the proposed management of used oil and obtain approval thereupon from CWSA’s Waste Management Unit. To minimize the ultimate volumes of used oil to be disposed of it is recommended that
67

68

Note: the storage of large numbers of tires at the site may create ideal nesting habitat for rats which are reported to be abundant in the area. This aspect will need to be considered when setting up the site management plan! Note: according to SOL shipping is in ISO containers of approximately 5,500 American Gallons at a current price of 150 US$/gallon. The recycled oil may subsequently be reused in the waste management process, e.g. in furnaces.

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Used oil will be as far as practically possible reused to prepare form work for concrete as a substitute for form oil. This approach is being successfully implemented in the Windward Highway rehabilitation. In the present case it may however only be applicable during the later stages of Project implementation when form works begin. 10.3.3 Natural Environment Import of Used Construction Equipment The import of used construction equipment may pose a risk to agriculture or to local wildlife through the introduction of invasive species.

Invasive Animal Species One example for invasive species imported with construction material is the lizard Anolis sagrie, the eggs of which came to St. Vincent with sand from Guyana. In the meantime this species is invading the natural habitats and displacing endemic and indigenous species like Anolis trinitatus. Another example is the African Giant Snail (family Achatinidae) known to originate from East Africa (Kenya, Zanzibar and Madagascar). It has since spread to Southeast Asia and the Islands of the Indian and Pacific Ocean. However, it was successfully eradicated in Florida and California, USA. In 1988, it was discovered in the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe and later in Martinique in 1989. The Island of Saint Lucia, which is 20 miles away from Martinique, discovered the presence of the snail in June 2000. The snail was subsequently noticed in Barbados in 2001. The Giant African Snail is a destructive agricultural pest even though it normally feeds on decaying plant and animal matter. It has been reported to destroy up to 70% of the local crops in a country. It has been found on papaya, citrus, mango, plantain, banana, breadfruit, vegetables, hibiscus, croton, aloe, gliricidia, cocoa and pineapple. One author associates the snail with over 225 plants, a substantial number of which are subject to severe atacks. Vehicles- including construction equipment - are known to aid in the movement of the snail from an infested to a non-infested area.

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To avoid such risks through the import of invasive species it is recommended that The IADC would request the Cuban partners to be informed on the concrete origin of the to be imported construction equipment and the agricultural pests and diseases that exist in this area; The Plant Protection and Quarantine Unit in the MAFF should be informed in due time about the expected arrival of the construction equipment so that necessary assessment of any soils or residue that may carry potentially harmful invasive species (e.g. eggs, larvae etc.) can be made and effective precautionary measures taken. Site Clearance Site clearance is the initial step of the construction phase. Usually the removal of the existing vegetation cover would be done with heavy equipment, while trees with larger stems would be felled by hand. The impact of site clearance will be significant in terms of quantity, although only the area and not the volume can be approximately indicated. Overall, the surface to be cleared will comprise the ~ 152 ha of the airport area plus about 47 ha of cut and fill in the immediate environs. The handling of vegetation cleared from the site (shrubs and trees) shall be agreed upon with the Forestry Department prior to the commencement of operations; Terrestrial Ecosystems The implementation of the Project will entail the permanent irreversible loss of about 130 ha of open green spaces. This comprises the following habitat types: • • • • • • Pastures; Agricultural fields; Dry forests; Shrubs; Riparian vegetation; Cliffs.

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As was explained earlier in this report none of these habitats is presently undisturbed or natural in terms of plant composition or maturity. The present land use, recurring anthropogenic disturbance and the location or limited size of various habitats has significantly affected their importance in terms of biodiversity. Not surprisingly mainly common plants and wildlife species with relatively little specific habitat requirements were identified in the area. The clearance of vegetation and subsequent earthworks will destroy these plant and animal habitats and entail a significant irreversible, however non-quantifiable impact on the local wildlife populations. The expected further development of the area, including the relocation of a section of the Windward Highway and the construction of a new access road in the Stubbs/ Mt. Pleasant area will add to the effects of new commercial activities. The adverse effects of habitat loss on the local wildlife will be aggravated by barrier effects resulting from the fencing of the airport security area and by the operation of the runway. As a result biodiversity is expected to generally decline in the study area and its surroundings. The populations of adaptable, rather flexible animal species will benefit to the disadvantage of more sensitive ones. The overall impact is expected to be long-term and irreversible but is not expected to critically affect already endangered wildlife species of Saint Vincent. Due to the type of the planned development and the fact that the development of a new commercial area is intended, no effective measures can be proposed for the mitigation of the impact on wildlife. For some species like iguana that are expected to draw back further inland to less disturbed areas the Forestry Department may decide to improve the enforcement of hunting restrictions and sensitise the local population about this issue. The Master Plan and especially the to be established zoning plan may determine the protection or development of some areas with significance or potential for wildlife protection, e.g. alongside the Yambou River, some hilltops or the cliffs north of the Stubbs Bay. Marine and Aquatic Animal Species Sea turtles, especially hatchlings, are profoundly influenced by light. Freshly hatched nestlings largely depend on a visual response to natural seaward light to

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guide them to the ocean. Sources of artificial light reaching the nesting beaches distract hatchlings so that they crawl landward instead of turning to the sea (Scott and Horrocks,1993). As the Argyle beaches are unsuitable for turtle nesting the ones with the greatest risk of disturbance by artificial light during construction are the sandy beaches to the south (Stubbs Bay) and north of the runway (Peruvian Vale). Details of construction arrangements and lighting requirements are not known at this point of time. To avoid impacts on nesting sea turtles it is recommended that During the nesting and hatching season (mainly March to September) security lighting and night time works will be avoided in the area of land reclamation works (northern runway end). The tri-tri fish of the Yambou River may be adversely affected during construction of the new bridge under the runway. Continuous extraction of construction water and heavy equipment moving in the riverbed may also affect tri-tri and other aquatic animal species during construction. Tri-tri itself is not a rare or endangered species in Saint Vincent but as was explained earlier in this report it is considered as a delicacy and provides most welcome source of nutrition and / additional income to the local communities. The results of the study that was conducted on this issue are presented in Appendix III of this report. The construction-related impact cannot be totally avoided; however it will be important that effective precautionary measures are taken to avoid disruption of the local tri-tri population and to take any precautionary measure to preserve this socio-economically important natural resource. The proposed mitigation measures are described in Appendix III of this report. 10.3.4 Cultural Heritage As was shown in chapter 7 of this report, parts of the planned physical development will be in an area of utmost cultural and historical significance. The rock with the petroglyph (as described in section 7.1.2 of this report) is relatively unstable material. The site is located in a fill area to the north west of the runway at about km 2+170 (see Fig. 22). The rocks in question are above the

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eventual height of the airstrip and will thus be crushed to achieve the required stability for the construction of the runway. Therefore it will not be technically feasible to preserve and ‘entomb’ the petroglyph at its present site as was initially proposed by the SVGNT. As the site cannot be preserved there is a need to explore the possibilities for relocation of the rock with the stone carvings. The rock on which these artefacts are located is obviously highly fractioned and any physical intervention bears a high risk of the rock falling apart. Site operations will be delicate and risky and will require the assignment of highly experienced experts (with imported, specialized tools) – most likely people who work stones for decorative purposes (stonemason or somebody who works in the marble industry). As was described in chapter 7.1 a joint site visit has been made with a geologist who had done scientific research on the rocks at the site. The conclusions from this visit are summarized in the box next page. Due to the alignment of the runway various technical constraints and the dimensions of the required earthworks there will be no option but to impact significant cultural heritage, both partially and wholly. Under such circumstances and according to international practice it is up to the developer to undertake any archaeological or salvation measures considered necessary to conserve archaeological information or important cultural heritage. This proposed approach is supported by Principle 12 / Strategy 39 of the SGD signed by the GoSVG, which reads: ‘Institute appropriate measures… to provide for the researching, documenting, protecting, conserving, rehabilitating and management of cultural, historic and natural monuments, buildings and symbols, as well as areas of outstanding scientific, cultural, spiritual, ecological, scenic or aesthetic significance’.

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‘The observed characteristics of the rock structure suggest that it will part readily along the joints. However, the fact that the petroglyph has survived for several hundred years suggest that such failure has not occurred recently and that the rock surface is reasonably stable. This suggests that the natural mass wasting processes are insufficient to affect the stability of the cliff face upon which the petroglyphs are inscribed. The stability of the rock face despite the jointing exhibited is likely to be related to a combination of factors including: • • • • secondary cementation along joints; internal strength given by the crystal size and composition of the rock; cohesion given by the juxtaposition of massive lava along the joint surfaces; lack of any major overburden pressure on the surface of the land.

All of these factors should be considered in any attempts to cut into or remove the rocks to preserve the petroglyphs. Care will need to be taken to ensure that the natural parting that will occur along the joints does not damage the inscription. As such, consideration should be given to providing some mechanism for cementing the rock along the joints prior to removal. The key to removal of the inscription without damage is ensuring that the existing strength of the entire outcrop is maintained. Any major hammering or vibration on the rock face is likely to cause instability.

There are several options available in terms of removal of the petroglyphs and these are outside the expertise of the author of this report. However, one can consider either removal of the entire rock face en mass or removal in segments. If done in segments then the natural parting of the rock along the joint surfaces would be one option to consider. If en mass then some method must be found to strengthen the existing rock face so that it does not separate along the joints once its lateral support has been removed’ Dr. Richard Robertson, UWI, Head of Seismic Unit, 09.12. 2007

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To mitigate the scale of the overall impact of the Project on cultural heritage and to avoid the ultimate loss of cultural assets and important information on the history of St. Vincent a Cultural Heritage Action Plan is proposed for implementation under the Project. This plan will comprise four main components, viz the petroglyph, the remnants of the Argyle sugarmill, ancient habitation sites and procedures for the chance finds consisting of graves. Petroglyph: Based on the information provided in this report consult with specialists to identify the most appropriate approach for the recovery and relocation of the original petroglyph from the site; Prior to pulling down the cliffs in the vicinity of the petroglyph clear all vegetation alongside the cliffs that are going to be demolished during site preparation. The SVGNT should be informed in due time and invited to systematically inspect these cliffs to ensure that no other artefacts would be incidentally destroyed. This operation should take place early enough in the process to ensure that action may be taken in due time in case that further petroglyphs are discovered at the site; Conduct consultations and reach consensus with the SVGNT on the site to which the original rock would be brought after its successful removal from the present site (e.g. display in the future airport or in a museum; or, as suggested by a member of the NTSVG, relocation to the site of the other petroglyphs in the upper part of the Yambou valley). Regarding the latter option it would, however, have to be considered that the site in the upper Yambou valley is difficult to access. Upon successful removal of the rock from the Argyle site transport of the fractioned rock to this location may entail an additional risk of it breaking apart; Old sugar mill: Prior to the beginning of earthworks rescue any machinery from the old sugar mill site (located in the south west of the IADC office at Argyle). To avoid theft all machinery from the Argyle sugarmill site shall as soon as possible be brought to the Archaeology Museum at the projected Youroumei Heritage Village in Orange Hill. All old brick materials and partly hand-shaped stones shall be collected and stored centrally

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at a safe place as a stock for the future restoration work on other old buildings in Saint Vincent. Ancient habitation sites: allocate appropriate funds for carrying out archaeological excavations at sites KuCe 5, KuCe 6, JtCe 1 and JtCe 2 at Escape and Argyle respectively69. The partly low-lying site KuCe 570 would have to be protected effectively during construction, e.g. by instructing the construction crew accordingly and by fencing the excavation area to avoid unintended damage through large construction machinery. At fenced sites provide physical security to protect against treasure seekers; Prehistoric burials: During excavations and earthworks there is a high possibility of chance finds consisting of graves. The IADC, in conjunction with the SVGNT and relevant stakeholders should establish agreed procedures to deal with such cases. These procedures would have to address options of potential research possibilities based on any recovered skeleton (see following box) and / or the reburial of human skeletal remains. Prior to the beginning of earthworks a member of the SVGNT together with the representatives of the IADC and the Construction Unit should inform the workforce accordingly. As regards the proposed archaeological excavations in the Escape area a potential risk could arise from the fact that land reclamation works at the end of the runway are located close to the proposed archaeological excavation sites and that these construction activities are likely to take place at an early stage of construction. This underlines the necessity to Comprehensively inform the Construction Unit about the archaeological sites and their importance; Provide a protective fence around the area proposed for archaeological investigations prior to the beginning of land reclamation works. This

69

70

Within the frame of this EIA study a technical and cost proposal for these excavations has been requested from archaeologists who previously worked in the area. This proposal was submitted to the IADC in December 2007. Note: a location map and the concrete coordinates of all sites can be obtained from the SVGNT

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measure is important, as one of the sites in question would be ideally located for the parking of heavy construction machinery and material. The following figure shows the approximate extent of the sites that are suggested for archaeological excavations.

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Chance Finds Consisting of Graves ‘There is a high potential for discovering Prehistoric burials during terraforming activities and archaeological excavations at Argyle and Escape. Past archaeological investigations at these locations demonstrate a rich and buried cultural resource assemblage amassed through prolonged human occupation. Caribbean sites with such prolonged occupations have yielded a multitude of burials showing different interment practices. As can be expected, many of these burials were uncovered due to modern development or large scale excavations. One challenge facing developers is recognizing the formal attributes of possible graves before their total destruction in the face of construction. Recognition of graves often lies in differentiating slight soil colour changes between grave fill and the surrounding soil matrix. Often grave shapes can be determined by these soil colour differentiations. In cases where people were buried within refuse middens, discarded artefact fragments, such as pottery, bones and shell, will likely appear first providing evidence to proceed with caution. It is advisable that mechanized soil removal be stopped upon encountering soil changes or a significant cache of artefacts and/or food remains, and excavation should proceed by hand. Preferably hand excavations should include shovels, trowels, brushes, and at best, a trained archaeologist. Recording of graves is an essential aspect of conservation and should be carried out with as much detail as possible. Minimally, a photographic record detailing soil colour change shape, skeleton cardinal orientation and positioning, and grave goods is required. Detailed drawings completed to scale on graph paper should augment this photographic record. Excavation should proceed with caution to prevent damaging the bones. Upon removal, skeletons should be boxed and their contexts well labelled’. I. Moravitz, Calgary (Canada), 25.01.2008

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During the constrution of the relocated Windward Highway chance finds have recently resulted in unintended destruction of artefacts and potentially relevant prehistoric habitation sites. Given the high risk of further construction-related damage on cultural heritage and considering that the SVGNT doesn not have the capacity to permanently provide suitably qualified specialists at the site it is suggested that the IADC would appoint a full time ‘Cultural Officer’ throughout the construction phase of the Project who would be fluent in both English and Spanish. The IADC would be responsible • • • • to allocate appropriate funds for the proposed activities under the Cultural Heritage Action Plan; and to plan the concrete further proceeding in consultation with the SVGN, including the selection and appointment of archaeological consultants and a Cultural Officer; the practical coordination of the implementation process.

An extract from the cost proposal for archaeological excavations at Argyle is provided in Appendix IV. The due implementation of the set of measures proposed under the Cultural Heritage Action Plan will require optimal communication between the IADC and the SVGNT. To this regard it is suggested to establish such formal communication procedures as to ensure that the NT will be given suitable notice when any planned action is to take place at the cultural heritage sites and invited to be present.

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Newly discovered potential habitation site SW Oasis Retreat

Fig. 22: Sites proposed for archaeological excavations71

71

original: Bison Historical Services Ltd.

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10.3.5

Human Environment Noise Impacts
Principal health effects of noise are both health and behavioural in nature. Sound is a particular auditory impression perceived by the ear. The presence of unwanted sound is called noise pollution. This unwanted sound can seriously damage and affect physiological and psychological health. For instance, noise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, and other harmful effects depending on the level of sound. Furthermore, stress and hypertension are the leading causes to health problems.

During construction noise will occur at and around the construction site from the operation of heavy site equipment and construction vehicles. The impact will be temporary and local and generally decrease with the distance from the source. The settlements that will most likely be temporarily affected by construction noise are parts of (from south to north): Stubbs, Calder, Mt. Pleasant, Argyle and Peruvian Vale. Due to the prevailing wind directions Peruvian Vale and residents from the seaside areas of Mt. Pleasant may be less affected than the others. Generally construction-related noise can represent a great nuisance for local residents, especially as construction activities will continue over a relatively long period of time. Construction noise cannot be generally avoided, but where sensitive receptors exist next to the construction site (see above) the level of disturbance may be reduced by Strictly limiting the working hours to weekdays and to the relatively least sensitive daytime periods72. Workers exposed to construction noise are further sensitive receptors. The level of noise exposure and associated risks for the health and well being of the workforce depends on the individual work place and type of equipment used. The po72

Note: according to the IADC construction arrangements may be such that works on the runway would ultimately be carried out around the clock in shifts. In this case so further effective mitigation measures for the reduction of noise-related nuisance could be implemented.

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tential negative impact of construction noise on the workforce should be generally mitigated by: Providing the workforce with appropriate noise protection gear and by using silenced construction equipment in specifically noisy operations. Health and Safety of Construction Workers During construction the health and safety of the workforce is at risk due to an accident-prone working environment, long shifts and through accommodation at a campsite. To minimise the risks associated to these framework conditions IADC will be responsible to ensure that adequate health care arrangements will be available at the site throughout the construction period. The local clinics at Biabou, Calder and Stubbs are outpatient facilities, where a doctor is only available once a week, which would not be adequate in a case of emergency at the construction site. The nearest hospital would be in Mesopotamia, but this may also not be adequate. Therefore it is suggested to Set up an emergency response unit with a minimum of one medical person to liaison with the MoHE and provide an ambulance on site. The responsibility for setting up such emergency response unit would lie with the body or institution responsible for the deployment of the Cuban construction brigade / unit. Another aspect to be considered with regard to the health and well being of both the workforce and the local population will be to Ensure that adequate, up to standard sanitary conditions will be available at the work camp and that garbage will be regularly collected. The responsibility for providing such framework conditions lies with the IADC. Monitoring of the sanitary conditions within the worker’s camps is the responsibility of the MoHE, whose public health care officers would regularly carry out surprise checks to inspect the camps.

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As regards worker’s safety the Construction Unit will also be responsible to ensure that The workforce will be equipped with appropriate working gear such as safety vests, goggles, face masks, earplugs, helmits, boots etc., as required and depending on the specific requirements of the individual work place. Emergency Response The construction site is located in an area that may be exposed to sesonal hurricanes, which represents a potential threat to the health and safety of the workforce. Therefore the Construction Unit will be required to set up an emergency response plan which should be keeping with NEMO’s official emergency response policy. This response plan will have to be approved by the NEMO / the MoTW prior to the beginning of construction. HIV/AIDS/STI Prevention and Social Integration of Foreign Workforce To minimize the risk of new infections and the spread of HIV/AIDS/STI a specific tailor-made campaign should be carried out under the Project. This would comprise of: Conducting HIV/AIDS/STI sensitisation sessions at the campsite including the distribution of information materials / brochures at the camp (in Spanish language. The proposed services may be rendered in the frame of the national AIDS/STI Prevention Programme established under the MoHE and would thus be free of cost. The procurement of the relevant printed materials from abroad in spanish language may, however, entail additional cost of about 500 US$.

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Landscape During construction there will a temporary massive impact on aesthetics and landscape as a result of large-scale vegetation losses, alteration of the natural topography, huge volumes of exposed bare earth and the permanent presence and operation of a large construction fleet. As the terrain gradually rises towards the west the construction area will be visible from large distances. Local residents and road users bypassing the construction site via the relocated Windward Highway will temporarily perceive the area as a big ‘scar’ in the landscape. This visual impact will last over a relatively long period of about three years, during which most of the earthworks will be executed. The alteration of the natural terrain and the large-scale loss of open green spaces and vegetation in favour of the new infrastructure along the coastline will result in a long-term irreversible visual impact on the natural landscape of the area. Recreational activities that take place at the sea side (like the traditional moonlight splash parties) will be little affected by these visual effects. Local residents however will be directly exposed to the visual impact as the site and cut and fill areas will be perceivable from even far distances. Considering the topography inhabitants of Calder and Escape will potentially be most affected. The question of whether or not the change of the landscape is seen as a disturbing factor is very much a subjective issue and therefore difficult to predict and assess. Plantations and landscaping measures are often integrated into project design to shield the visual impact of a large-scale infrastructure project. In this respect onsite plantations would be relatively ineffective due to the topography of the area. The more practical and effective approach would be to plant at the site where disturbance is felt, i.e. on the private properties. Moreover on-site plantations may cause safety risk as they may attract birds in the vicinity of the new airport. Landscaping will have to be carried out for both the temporarily used areas during construction as well as open spaces within the airport area itself. Any landscaping of the open spaces inside the airport site will have to consider potential safety implications resulting from wildlife attraction. Within the fenced area of the airside only grass seeding will be permitted.

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The relevant issues shall be dealt with in a state of the art landscaping plan, which would have to be an integral part of the final detailed Project design. The objectives of the landscaping plan are: Reinstatement of the entire construction area to minimize visual impairment (levelling of the terrain); Stabilisation of slopes both in- and outside the airport perimetre (slopes built to obtain obstacle free zones); Visual integration of airport facilities into the surrounding landscape. Recreation Construction of the runway may disturb the planned rehabilitation works at the Rawacou recreation site planned for development under the Tourism Development Project. Construction activities are also expected to temporarily affect recreation in the wider Project area through disturbing access to Rawacou Pond, to the Argyle beaches and the low-lying areas north of Mt. Pleasant, which are the venue for kite competitions at Easter. These sites will be adversely affected through noise and dust development and through the movement of heavy construction machinery, which will also represent a safety risk. To avoid disturbance of rehabilitation works at Rawacou IADC should closely co-ordinate with the NPA on concrete construction schedules in the relevant southern section of the runway. To minimize the disturbance of recreational activities in the area it will be important to: Maintain access to Rawacou pond and the beachside recreational areas at Argyle at all times. Especially over the weekends existing footpaths and tracks should be kept free of any obstacles and clean so as to minimize adverse impact on recreational activities in the area. An essential measure for minimizing safety risks during construction will be to:

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Clearly demarcate the boundaries of construction by providing a fence to keep people and animals out of the site throughout the construction period; Regularly patrol and control the fence and repair any damage at short notice. The final alignment of the fence should be selected such as to effectively minimize the area of the construction site, as this will minimize the physical impact on the natural vegetation. On average the required construction corridor is expected to be about 500 m wide. The change that the Project will bring to the area in terms of aesthetics and landscape will be negative, long-term and irreversible. In the long run the magnitude of the overall impact on the landscape is expected to rise as a consequence of expected induced development and land use changes in the surroundings of the airport. The RC church on the hill between Argyle and Peruvian Vale, the green hills of Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Coke are distinctive elements of the landscape, which will be pulled down to give way for the new runway and to achieve the required obstacle-free zone. In all, the characteristics of the present landscape are going to be significantly altered and this impact is going to be massive and irreversible. The previous rural character of the Mt. Pleasant and Argyle areas will be lost as a result of large-scale losses of natural landscape elements in favour of new infrastructure and induced development. Upon finalisation of construction the site should be fully rehabilitated. This will include: • • • The clearance of the construction site from all construction waste, including tires, drums, any packaging material etc. Removal of any defunct construction equipment and machinery, leaving the site left in a clean and tidy condition; Disposal of all topsoil or excess material at an agreed and officially approved site, e.g. at the quarry in Rabacca or the landfill site at Diamond.

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To ensure that this measure will be ultimately implemented it is recommended that a guarantee on the rehabilitation of the overall construction site will be signed between the IADC and the Cuban partners.

10.4 10.4.1

Operational Environmental Impacts Introduction The operation of the Argyle International Airport will require a modern management structure to be established aiming at safe operations, good quality service and handling fast growing passenger and cargo volumes in accordance with ICAO international standards and procedures. This scenario bears both opportunity and risk. The opportunity is that the new International Airport may become a model enterprise for sustainable management practices and environmentally sound business operations in SVG – in line with the GoSVG’s environmental policy statements. The risk is that this opportunity will be missed and that decisions are taken, which in the medium to longer term will entail unsustainable operations resulting in continuous adverse impact on both the human and the natural environment. From an environmental perspective it is therefore strongly recommended to Create an Environmental Department (ED) within the future AC that will be responsible for the implementation of an operational management plan (OEMP) and for the continuous improvement of the environmental performance and sustainable development of the Airport. To ensure effective operations and achieve substantial output it will be crucial that such an ED will be established at an early stage of further Project development and that experienced, well trained staff be appointed. This approach would support the process of developing a corporate environmental policy and ensure

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that substantial input will be given to further decision making on airport operations. 10.4.2 Noise Impact The calculation and assessment of noise impacts from airport operations requires reliable data on traffic development and aircraft mix, which according to the IADC have not yet been established. In the absence of these data noise impact will be assessed to the extent that data are available and reasonable assumptions can be made. During operation noise associated with an airport can be attributed to a number of sources and activities such as: • • • • • Aircraft take-offs and landing; Aircraft over flights of residential neighbourhoods; Engine run-ups, which are tests performed on aircraft engines and systems after maintenance to ensure that they function safely; Reverse thrust, which is used to slow down an aircraft when landing on the runway; General noise from ground services equipment.

‘Aircraft noise is defined as sound produced by any aircraft on run-up, taxiing, take off, over-flying or landing’ 73 For planning purposes aircraft noise levels are indicated in ‘busy day noise contours’ for a selected time horizon, expressed in dBA Leq. On the basis of presently available data it is not possible to calculate the dBA Leq. Therefore single event noise contours (65 dB A) have been developed and overlaid to the topographic map (Fig. 24). Fig. 24 therefore shows the worst case scenario. To evaluate noise levels at key facilities like schools, churches, recreational areas, protected areas etc. it is necessary to use the dBA Leq. which can only be developed on the basis of a traffic forecast expertise. Such expertise shall therefore be prepared in the course of the future Airport Masterplan.

73

Wikipedia.

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report Measuring sound and noise: Environmental noise is measured with reference to the A-weighted decibel scale, dBA. This reflects the fact that the human ear does not detect all frequencies of sound equally efficiently. To quantify sound levels which vary with time equivalent continuous sound level or Leq is calculated. This indicates the average sound level over a particular time period. For example, an Leq, 24h of 60dBA indicates that the sound energy produced by the noise source is equivalent to a constant sound of 60 dBA over 24 hours. Other measures of noise are also available, that relate to different measurement periods, such as the instantaneous maximum noise level (Lmax), or the average over certain periods, such as evening or night (Lden). (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, UK; 2003) The cumulative noise contour mainly depends on the number of flight operations (in 24 hours) and types of aircrafts and is an effective tool to estimate the impact of airport operations. The size and shape of single-event noise contours, which are further inputs into the cumulative noise contours, depend on operational factors (e.g. aircraft weight, engine power setting and airport altitude), atmospheric conditions (e.g. wind, temperature, humidity) and others. Each of these factors can alter the shape and size of the single noise event contour significantly. Examples of the effects of two different operating conditions are given in the figure below. Condition 1 Landing, 3° approach Takeoff
Max. structural landing weight 10 Kt head wind 84° F Humidity 15% Max. gross takeoff weight Zero wind 84° F Humidity 15%

Condition 2 Landing, 3°approach

Takeoff

85% of max. structural 80% of max. landing weight gross takeoff weight 10 Kt headwind 59°F Humidity 70% 10 Kt head wind 59 °F Humidity 70%

Fig. 23: Effects of varying operating conditions on single event aircraft noise contours74

74

Source:

Boeing: B 747-400 Airplane Characteristics for Planning. Chapter 6: Jet Engine Wake and Noise Data

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The level of noise impact is generally assessed in terms of expected community reaction and acceptable land use within a given contour. According to the standards used by the American Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) exposure levels of 65 LAeq will generally not give rise to complaints and will be acceptable to sensitive receptors like residential areas, including schools and churches. Above this level complaints will increase and therefore land use should be restricted to commercial and industrial activities. The magnitude of the impact is measured in numbers of people affected by unacceptable noise levels. ‘Busy day noise contours’ are usually used to visualize the boundaries of selected noise levels around an airport. The calculation of the busy day noise contours is based on the numbers of aircraft landing or departing per day and on the expected aircraft mix. In the absence of these data an estimate of operational noise has been made for the L(max) generated by selected aircraft types (instead of an average exposure based on busy day noise calculations). It is assumed that detailed calculations for different time horizons will be made during the Master Plan phase (see chapter 9.5.2 of this report). According to data obtained from E.T. Joshua Airport Dash 8 aircraft types represented 66% of the total operations in 2006. Dash 8 aircraft types fall in noise classification group 2 of ICAO Annex 16 for noise levels ranging between 71.0 and 73.9 dBA. Aircrafts of type ‘Aero Commander’ and ‘Britten Norman Islander’ account for 10% and 8% of present aircraft operations at E.T. Joshua Airport respectively. The latter two are small aircrafts, which are not listed in ICAO’s noise classification system. The noisiest aircraft type presently landing at E.T. Joshua Airport is the B 722 which falls into noise classification group 4 and so far operates once a week only. Noise classification group 4 is attributed to aircraft types with average noise levels of 77 to 79.9 dBA. The B 747-400 (jumbo), which is the design aircraft for the Argyle International Airport falls into group 5 (80.0 to 84.9 dBA).
Sound, pressure and noise are measured in units of decibel (dB) using a logarith-mic scale. If a sound is increased by 10 dB, it is perceived as a doubling in loud-ness. Changes in a sound by 3 dBA is barely perceptible to the human ear.

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The following figure is a plot of the apprximate single event 65 dBA noise contours for the B 747-400 and the B 727-200 (which is the ‘passenger-version’ of the B 722 presently operating at E.T. Joshua Airport). As can be seen from these plots the B 722 exposes a significantly wider area and thus higher numbers of people to noise levels > 65 Lmax than the B 747.

Fig. 24: Approximate single event noise contours (65 dBA) for B 727-400 and B 747-400 aircrafts

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The other above mentioned sources of noise during airport operations cannot be completely eliminated, but the significance of the impact on sensitive human receptors in the surroundings of the new airport can be minimized by targeted management measures. In the frame of the required Airport Master Plan detailed noise calculations shall be made for the 65 dBA LeQ based on realistic assumptions regarding traffic forecast and aircraft mix over an appropriate period of time. Given the wind and topographic conditions it is assumed that the population residing to the west of the future runway would be generally more affected than those (relatively few) people living comparatively close, but upwind of the source of the noise (i.e. in Mt. Pleasant and Rawacou ) The following table lists the settlements that lie in the fly path of landing or departing aircrafts and that may thus be affected by future aircraft noise. The ultimate level of noise impact and thus number of people being affected by disturbing noise levels may be significantly less. A concrete assessment can only be made when the relevant traffic data and information on aircraft mix are available. Tab. 16: Settlements located in/near to the future aircraft fly path75 Settlement (ED) Calliaqua Brighton Diamond Stubbs Calder Rawacou ,Mt. Pleasant Marriaqua Argyle (incl. Akers + Escape) Total population 2001 Estimated total population 2020 367 852 1,416 1,803 692 511 Population Settlement (ED) Bridgetown Spring & Peruvian Vale Biabou (A1) Bridgetown (A) Cedars South Union North Union Colonaire Sans Souci (New Grounds) 155 8443 9,823 701 389 251 320 530 456 Population

75

Source: 2001 census, population per Enumeration District (ED); estimated growth rate 0.8% p.a.

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The ICAO Balanced Approach76 concept provides airports with an agreed methodology to be used to address and manage aircraft noise problems in an environmentally responsive and economically responsible way. The Balanced Approach to noise management encompasses four principal elements: • • • • Reduction of noise at source; Land use planning and management; Noise abatement operational procedures; Operating restrictions on aircraft.

The AC will be responsible to actively address these issues in a noise management policy and programme. The noise management programme is one of several programmes that shall be addressed in the ED’s OEMP, a concept of which is given in Appendix VIII of this report. To provide a framework for future effective noise management at the Argyle International Airport the IADC should Advocate the creation of an Environmental Department (ED) within the fu ture AC that will have a wide range of environmental management tasks, including the preparation and implementation of a noise management programme for the systematic reduction of operational noise impact of the airport77; Assign a noise study based on ICAO Annex 16 procedures (‘Aircraft Noise’), which also is a requirement for the later certification of the international airport according to the ‘Manual on Certification of Aerodromes’; The ultimate level of aircraft noise impact on the population in the neighbourhood of the new airport site can be effectively mitigated by Adopting and strictly implementing a pro-active noise management policy.

76 77

See: ICAO Airport Development Reference Manual, 9th edition, 2004 Note: the to be created ED would have a wide range of responsibilities which are by no means limited to noise management issues!

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More details on this issue are provided in the Conceptual Operational Environmental Management Plan (see Chapter 10.6 and Appendix VIII of this report). A further effective way of minimizing future noise impact on the local population is to: Strictly control residential development in areas where predicted noise levels are in excess of a to be defined threshold, e.g. 65 dBA. This measure will be laid down in the to be established regional and local development plans under the responsibility of the PPU. The following table shows noise and land use compatibility guidelines developed by the FAA, which could be used by the competent authorities / the to be created ED of the future airport in establishing these regional local development plans. It should be noted that these figures are yearly day/night average sound levels, which would have to be set in relation to the noise calculations provided in the (to be established -) Airport Master Plan based on relevant traffic forecast and aircraft mix.

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Tab. 17: FAA noise and land use compatibility guidelines
Yearly day/night average sound level DNL, dB
< 65 65 - 70 70 - 75 75 - 80 80 - 85 > 85

Residential use Public use
Schools Hospitals Churches & auditoriums Government services Transportation Parking

no no 25 25

no no 30 30 25

no no no no 30

no no no no no

no no no no no

Commercial use
Offices, businesses; professional wholesale , retail, building materials, hardware, farm equipment Retail trade – general Utilities Communication

25

30

no

no no no

25

30

no

no

Manufacturing and production
Manufacturing, general Agriculture - except life stock – and forestry Life stock farming and breeding Mining and fishing resource production and extraction

no

no

no

Recreational use
Outdoor sports arenas and spectator sports Nature exhibits and zoos Amusement parks, resorts, and camps Golf courses, riding stables and water recreation

no no no no

no no

25

30

no

no

land use / related structures are compatible without restrictions; no land use / related structures are not compatible and should be prohibited; 25, 30 or 35 land use related structure generally compatible; measures to achieve outdoor to indoor noise level reduction of 25, 30 or 35 dB must be incorporated into design and construction of structure.

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10.5

Safety Operation of an International Airport requires a vast range of safety measures to be considered in accordance with ICAO standards. In this respect appropriate framework conditions will have to be provided for • • • • Emergencies; Rescue and fire fighting services; Dangerous cargo; and Bird strike.

To comply with operational safety requirements in accordance with international standards steps and measures will have to be taken in terms of organisation, equipment, staffing, training and operation. Emergencies: The ICAO has developed guidelines on aerodrome emergency planning which are provided in Annex 14, Chapter 9.1. Examples of emergencies are aircraft emergencies, sabotage, including bomb threats, unlawfully seized aircraft, dangerous goods occurrences, building fires and natural disasters. According to ICAO the aerodrome emergency plan shall be commensurate with aircraft operations and other activities conducted at the airport and provide for the coordination of actions to be taken in an emergency occurring at the aerodrome or its vicinity. The plan shall coordinate the response or participation of all existing agencies, which in the opinion of the appropriate authority, could be of assistance in responding to an emergency. Examples of agencies are: • At the aerodrome: air traffic control unit; rescue and fire fighting services; aerodrome administration; medical and ambulance services; aircraft operators; security services; and police. • Off the aerodrome: fire departments; police, medical and ambulance services; hospitals; military; and harbour patrol or coast guard.

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Further issues addressed in ICAO Annex 14 in the context of and rescue and fire fighting are: Chapter 9.1: Aerodrome Emergency Planning • • • • Emergency centre and command post; Communication systems; Emergency exercises; Emergencies in difficult environment (e.g. sea).

Chapter 9.2: Rescue and Fire Fighting • • • • • • • • • Level of protection to be provided; Fire fighting; Rescue equipment; Response time; Emergency access roads; Fire Stations; Communication and alerting systems; Number of rescue and fire fighting vehicles; Personnel and training requirements.

In a supplement to Annex 14 the ICAO has developed further guidance materials on rescue and fire fighting, which are described in Attachment A (Guidance Material) Number 16 of ICAO Annex 14. These materials contain further details on: • • • • • Administration; Training requirements; Level of protection to be provided; Rescue equipment for difficult environments; and Facilities (communication and alarm systems).

Dangerous cargo: The ICAO has developed an internationally agreed set of provisions governing the safe transport of dangerous goods78 by air, which are compiled in ICAO Annex 18. These provisions are based on the Recommenda78

Dangerous goods are defined as ‘articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in the Technical Instructions or which are classified according to those Instructions’.

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tions of the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Bird strike is a realistic risk in the Mt. Pleasant and Argyle area, especially with regard to the abundance of cattle egrets and lizards on which these birds mainly feed. The green spaces and grassed shoulders alongside the new runway will generally provide attractive feeding habitat for these animals. Other critical species could be the colony of blue herons nesting alongside the Yambou River and any other birds that are larger than pigeons. A further critical aera may be the landfill at Diamond, which lies in the flypath of approaching aircraft.

Examples of damage on aircraft resulting from bird strike As bats are abundant in the area and the runway cuts through their fly paths between roosting and foraging habitats the risk of ‘bat strike’ may also need to be considered. The phenomenon of bat strike risks is known from other international airports such as San Antonio in Texas. According to recent research electromagnetic radiation associated with radar installations can elicit an aversive behavioural response in foraging bats if the electromagnetic field is greater than 2-volts/ m (Nicholls and Racey, 2007)79. Details of the safety arrangements proposed for Argyle International Airport are not yet available, but it is evident that the present arrangements of E.T. Joshua would not meet the relevant ICAO standards. To comply with the relevant ICAO

79 Note: Ultrasonic bird repellent devices are not useful against pigeons roosting in hangars. Source: S. M. Satheesan, 1999. Zero Bird-Strike Rate - An Achievable
Target, Not A Pipedream. Paper prepared for the First Joint Annual Meeting of the Bird Strike Committee-USA/Canada,Vancouver,BC, 1999.

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safety standards for the operation of an international airport it is thus recommended to Establish an emergency (response) plan and take all required decisions in terms of organisation, equipment, staffing, training and operational framework conditions in compliance with ICAO recommendations provided in ICAO Annex 14 (I) to ensure safe airport operations; Set up an effective program for the safe transport of dangerous goods in accordance with recommendations provided in ICAO Annex 18; Establish and implement a best practice management plan in accordance with ICAO’s revised Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) on airport wildlife control of 2003. The responsibility for the establishment of all of the above plans will lie with the to be created ED by the AC (see chapter 12.3).

10.5.1

Impact on Protected Areas and Habitats of Protected Species As regards Milligan Cay a potential operational impact could be that legally protected resident and migratory bird species will be disturbed by aircrafts flying over the island at low altitudes. Landing aircraft usually descend on a 3° glide path towards an aiming point approximately 300 metres from the runway threshold. This places them at 60 m above ground at about 1,200 m from the runway. Departing aircraft normally are over 150 m above the ground before crossing the threshold. The preliminary design report states that the threshold for this Project is at 120 m beyond the beginning of the runway. The highest point of Milligan Cay is 30 m asl while the runway is located at about 40 m asl. Milligan Cay lying 2,750 m south of the beginning of the runway planes would normally cross over the island at an altitude of about 122 m. If the (standard) threshold of 300 m is applied the clear height between the top of the island and the aircraft would be at about 132 m. A reasonable prediction of bird reaction on aircrafts of varying size crossing over the island at altitudes from 120 to 130 metres is not possible. It is also not possible to predict in how far birds scared up by approaching aircrafts will themselves

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become a safety hazard and increase the risk of bird strike. Given the conservation status of both the island and the species inhabiting it is suggested that The ED will elaborate the details of threshold definition for various aircraft types in an appropriate long-term strategy, thereby considering the both conservation status of the avifauna of Milligan Cay and potential safety impacts on aircraft operations. Mitigation measures may include the shifting of the landing threshold for smaller aircraft to a northern direction or the modification of the flypath in such a way that overflying of the island will be avoided. Operational impacts on other coastal and marine habitats and their (protected) wildlife are not expected provided that the proposed technical standards for the operation of the incineration plant, the waste water treatment plant, the drainage design and the design of measures for the protection of water resources and other managerial measures will be duly implemented.

10.5.2

Impact on Marine Turtles The potential impact of light on nesting and hatching sea turtles during construction was already explained in chapter 10.3.3. Besides potential impacts of light during construction permanent light sources may affect these legally protected animals during the operation of the airport. Details of future lighting of the airport facilities are not yet known, but the most likely source of disturbance may result from security lights around the northern edge of the fence. More distant sources of light like apron or terminal buildings may also have an adverse effect. To avoid adverse operational impact on nesting sea turtles it is suggested that: Artificial light sources at the southern or northern runway end will be positioned so that the source of light is not directly visible from the sea or does not directly illuminate areas of the beach; Visibility of airport lights from the relevant beaches will be assessed upon completion of works in conjunction with the Fisheries Department and corrections made as appropriate shielding of lights at source or plantations alongside the beach.

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10.6

Conceptual Operational Environmental Management Plan A conceptual Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) for the Argyle International Airport is attached in Appendix VIII. The objective of this concept is to provide guidance for setting out the future environmental policies and programmes to be implemented around key environmental sustainability issues to minimize the impact of Airport operations on the surrounding environment, both human and natural. Environmental programmes to be addressed in the frame of the OEMP are: • • • • • • • • Aeronautical noise; Water quality; Air quality; Waste management; Hazardous materials; Natural habitat; Resource efficiency; and Environmental impact assessment.

As applicable national standards do not exist international standards shall form the basis for environmental programs and performance as appropriate. To ensure that environmental performance of airport operations will be continuously improved the environmental management system the OEMP should be developed in accordance with the principles of ISO 1400180. To drive the continuous improvement of its environmental performance the Airport should provide a yearly update of its OEMP and publish it on a company website.

80

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognized standard that outlines the structures of environmental management systems and operates based on the principle of PDAC (=plan-do-check-act).

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10.7

Cost Estimate

In the following table cost relevant measures (additional plans, institutional strengthening, monitoring) are listed and the respective

costs estimated. There is no totals formation because the decision whether an individual measure will be implemented or not will be de-

cided by the IADC in the course of the Project Implementation Process.

Cultural Heritage Action Plan 40,000.00 USD 5,000.00 USD 100,000.00 USD

Direct Project-related cost

National budget

EC$ 106,800.00 13,350.00 267,000.00

• Recovery / relocation of petroglyph

Recovery of iron machinery and stones from the Argyle sugarmill site and transport to Orange Hill asap

Archaeological excavations

Appointment of a ‘Cultural Officer’ as postulated by the NT over the relevant part of the construction period; needs to be fluent in Spanish and English; 40,000.00 USD 120,000.00 USD 106,800.00 320,400.00

Total annual cost Cost for 3 years

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Institutional Strengthening Monitoring of EMP-Implementation National budget

Direct Project-related cost 3,000.00 USD / Month 9,000.00 USD

EC$

• Periodic employment of an independent environmental auditor, i.e. for one week every 3 months throughout construction period.

8,010.00 / Month 24,030.00

Total cost for 3 months:

• ‘Competent Person’ overseeing EMP implementation proposed to join IADC’s team; needs to be fluent in Spanish and English. 40,000.00 USD / Month 120,000.00 USD

106,800.00 / Month 320,400.00

annual cost / total cost for 3 years

DESIGN REVIEW

Direct Project-related cost 100,000.00 USD

National budget

EC$

• Connect the old Windward Highway to the new access road from the south to ensure access for cases of emergency

267,000.00

• Set up a state of the art landscaping plan 70,000.00 USD 200,000.00 USD 186,900.00 534,000.00

- planning

- implementation

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Environmental Support Projects National budget

Direct Project-related cost 50,000.00 USD

EC$

• Integrated ‘Watershed Management Support Project' for the Yambou River Valley

133,500.00

Development Control X 100,000.00 USD 300,000.00 USD

Direct Project-related cost

National budget

EC$

• Regional development plan

• Land use / Zoning plan

267,000.00 801,000.00

• Airport Masterplan

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ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PROGRAMMES National budget

Direct Project-related cost

EC$

CONSTRUCTION PHASE

• Water quality measurements Yambou River Price per Unit 1,800.00 USD Price per Unit 4,806.00

Costs per unit (parameters to be measured indicated in chapter 10.9): 3 4 3 Total price 64,800.00 USD

Number of locations: Measurements per year: Number of years:

Total Quantity of units = 3 x 4 x 3 = 36

Total price 173,016.00

• Air quality measurements Price per Unit 1,500.00 USD Price per Unit 4,005.00

Costs per unit (parameters to be measured indicated in chapter 10.9): 4 3

Measurements per year: Number of years:

Total Quantity of units = 3 x 4 = 12

Total price 18,000.00 USD

Total price 48,060.00

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ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PROGRAMMES National budget

Direct Project-related cost

EC$

OPERATION PHASE

• Water quality measurements Yambou River Price per Unit 1,800.00 USD Price per Unit 4,806.00

Costs per unit (parameters to be measured indicated in chapter 10.9): 3 2 Total price 10,800.00 USD

Number of locations: Measurements per year:

Total Quantity of units = 3 x 2 = 6

Total price 28,836.00

CREATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL DEPARTMENT AS PART OF THE FUTURE AIRPORT MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

Direct Project-related cost

National budget

EC$

Environmental / Department 2 permanent staff experts. Annual cost

60,000.00 USD 5,000.00 USD

160,200.00 13,350.00

Equipment, training; annually

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10.7.1

Design and Construction As mentioned earlier in this report the detailed design for the various airport facilities will be provided by foreign governments and construction will be done by workers of the same countries. There will thus be no international bidding for the finalisation of the detailed design or the execution of construction works under the Project. Due to these specific implementation arrangements the IADC will have to liaise with the Cuban and Venezuelan partners about the integration of the proposed environmental protection measures and management arrangements into the respective design and construction packages. This would inter alia include potential unforeseen expenditures for the presently still missing landscaping plan and the provision of appropriate emergency arrangements for the workforce during construction (full time medical person and ambulance). A separate cost estimate of the various proposed measures has thus not been made. It should be noted that the proposed institutional arrangements described in chapter 12 of this report would also entail additional personnel expenditures on the side of both, the IADC and the workforce from Cuba. The cost for the implementation of the proposed Cultural Heritage Action Plan would be the responsibility of the IADC / the GoSVG. According to a bid solicited from Canadian experts the cost for the recommended archaeological excavations at Argyle would be in the order of 110,000 US$. The expense for the safe recovery of the petroglyph could not be assessed in the frame of this study. The SVGNT may use their contacts with archaological experts to clarify this point for the IADC. The proposed removal of machinery from the Argyle sugarmill site and its transport to Orange Hill would be included in the construction package.

10.7.2

Operational Cost of Environmental Management Measures The operation of an international airport will require decisions on a modern and effective management structure. Such modern management structure would inter alia comprise an Environmental Department, which would be responsible to establish and implement the operational environmental management plan in accordance with international standards. The operation of this department will entail

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significant recurrent cost for suitably qualified personnel and regular further training, cost for the office and communication, the purchase of computers, a vehicle etc. The budget required for the creation and adequate operation of this department cannot be estimated at this point of time, but the issue should be duly considered by the GoSVG and the IADC in the further decision making process. 10.8 Implementation Schedule The various mitigation measures proposed in the frame of this study will require action at many levels. The guidelines for the conduct of this EIA study specifically mention that the study aims at providing a forum for public consultation and informed comment on the proposal. To achieve this objective the IADC may decide to publish this report on the Internet. The first phase of EMP implementation will deal with the review of the detailed design and the decision whether or not the proposed environmental mitigation measures will be considered. This process would thus start immediately and go in parallel with the technical design review and related internal decisions and discussions with the Venezuelan design team. With regard to the proposed archaeological excavations decisions should also be taken early to ensure that the team can be appointed within the appropriate time window and no conflicts will arise with the progress of construction. The appointment of an internal (Spanish speaking) environmental monitor within the IADC (the Competent Person) should be envisaged at short notice to facilitate profound familiarisation with the contents of the EMP (see chapter 12.3). As soon as the construction unit and their equipment will be on the site some initial discussions should be held to ensure a common understanding on the roles and responsibilities of the IADC’s Competent Person and the Construction Unit’s representative and Nominated Person responsible for EMP implementation.

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A representative of the SVGNT should be invited to the site prior to the beginning of construction to explain the CU’s representatives and personnel the chance find procedures and the relevance of cooperation with the IADC and the SVGNT.

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10.9

Institutional and Agency Support

The following table provides an overview where institutions or agencies should play a role. Institutional Support by Forestry Department Comment Consult with Forestry Department for species selection (e.g. sea grape) Issue shall be agreed upon prior to the commencement of operations The CU shall submit a method statement on the proposed design of sites designed for storage of diesel and lubricants. IADC may get support from NEMO / SOL in reviewing this statement. Approval to be obtained from CWSA's Waste Management Unit The Plant Protection and Quarantine Unit in the MAFF should be informed in due time about the expected arrival of the construction equipment so that necessary assessment of

Issue

1)

Plantation of appropriate vegetation for coastal protection

2)

Handling of vegetation cleared from the site (shrubs and trees)

Forestry Department

3)

Storage areas for diesel and lubricants. Management controls for toxic and oil spills

NEMO / SOL and CWSA’s Waste Management Unit

4)

Imported construction equipment

The Plant Protection and Quarantine Unit in the MAFF

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Issue

Institutional Support by

Comment any soils or residue that may carry potentially harmful invasion species (e.g. eggs, larvae etc.) can be made and effective precautionary measures taken.

5)

Transforming of rural environment into airport and airport affine commercial centres. Decline of biodiversity. Species adapted to forests and woody habitat structures are expected to draw back further inland to less disturbed areas. SVGNT

Forestry Department

Forestry Department may decide to improve the enforcement of hunting restrictions and sensitise the local population about this issue. SVGNT should be informed in due time and invited to systematically inspect these cliffs to ensure that no other artefacts would be incidentally destroyed. The IADC in conjunction with the SVGNT and relevant stakeholders should establish agreed procedures to deal with such cases Full time cultural officer to be appointed

6)

Vegetation clearance alongside the cliffs that are to be demolished during site preparation in the vicinity of the petroglyphs.

7)

Prehistoric burials. During excavations there is a high possibility of chance finds consisting of graves

SVGNT

8)

Appoint a full time cultural officer throughout the construction phase of the Project who would be fluent in both English and Spanish

SVGNT

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Issue MoHE

Institutional Support by

Comment One additional medical person / doctor to be appointed Public health care officer’s of the MoHE shall regularly carry out surprise checks to inspect the camps Response plan to be approved by the NEMO / MoTW prior to beginning of construction Services to be rendered in the frame of the national AIDS/STI Prevention Programme established under the MoHE IADC should closely coordinate with the NPA on concrete construction schedules in the relevant southern section of the runway Create an Environmental Department (ED) within the future Airport Company (AC) that will be responsible

9)

Set up an emergency response unit with a minimum of one medical person to liaison with the MoHE and provide an ambulance on site MoHE

10)

Monitoring of the sanitary conditions within the worker’s camps

11)

Emergency response plan

NEMO / MoTW

12)

Minimize risks of new infections of HIV/AIDS and STI.

MoH

13)

Avoid disturbance of rehabilitation works at Rawacou

NPA

14)

Implementation of an operational management plan Future Airport Company (AC) (OEMP, conceptional OEMP see Appendix 8) and for the continuous improvement of the environmental performance and sustainable development of the airport

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Issue Fisheries Department

Institutional Support by

Comment Visibility of airport lights from the relevant beaches will be assessed upon completion of works in conjunction with the Fisheries Department and corrections be made as appropriate shielding of lights at source or plantations alongside the beach Concretely space to be designated to pasture use to be determined

15)

Impact on Marine Turtles. Visibility of airport lights from the relevant beaches

16)

Low lying area between the future runway and the sea be Ministry of Agriculture considered for a combined use of coastal protection and life stock farming MoHE and MoTW

17)

Air measurements during construction phase.

Parameters: dust, TSP, smoke of asphalt plants, Nox, SO2, Pb, CO and THC.

Capacity of MoHE needs to be strengthened with regard to measuring instruments and a qualified person. Alternatively the services may be subcontracted.

Schedule: Quarterly measurements during construction phase.

Location: Construction site

Standards for quality: EU or WHO standards

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Issue MoHE and CWSA

Institutional Support by

Comment

18)

Yambou River water quality measurements.

Proposed parameters: pH, conductivity, turbidity, TDS, NO3, NP, NH3, COD, BOD, TDH, heavy metals: Pb, Mg, Zn, Cu, Cd, Hg

Capacity of MoHE and / or CWSA needs to be strengthened with regard to measuring instruments and a qualified person. Alternatively a local laboratory may be subcontracted.

Schedule: First measurement prior to construction starts near Yambou River.

Quarterly measurements during construction phase.

During operation phase measurements 2 times per year.

Standards: Water quality standards of EU or WHO

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11.
11.1

SOCIO ECONOMIC IMPACTS AND THEIR MITIGATION
Introduction Open market valuations have been carried out in 2006/2007 to assist the IADC in the determination of the adequate price for the properties to be purchased within the boundaries of the future airport (see the aerial photograph attached at the end report). Based on this valuation the IADC has carried out individual negotiations with the affected property owners. According to the pertinent legislation compensation may only be paid upon proved titles and legal ownership. The Possessory Titles Act provides the framework for transforming occupied parcels of private land into legal ownership after they have been occupied over a minimum period of twelve years. The GoSVG would become the owner of any pivate land after having published an acquisition notice twice in the Gazette. Following to this the GoSVG would acquire the land through the Chief Surveyor on behalf of the Government and at the expense of the IADC. When a landowner cannot be identified the land is valued regardless and the money placed in an account at the treasury for compensation at a later point of time. Any increase of the land value that may occur in the meantime would not be taken into consideration in this process. The same procedure would be applied when a landowner does not agree the price proposed by the Chief Surveyor. The landowner may then challenge the value of the land and get private valuation to compare and negotiate, but would not be able to keep it as the land would now belong to the Government. Compensation for the loss of productive lands or agricultural income will be in accordance with market prices at the time of sale, based on evidence of similar sales in the area.

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11.2

Residential Land The Argyle / Mount Pleasant property owners who need to be relocated were offered new land at ‘green sites’ at Harmony Hall, Carapan and Diamond with high service standards and good facilities. According to the IADC access to medical facilities will be better compared to the current situation. This is an important aspect when considering that most of the people to be relocated are elderly. By March 7, 2008 acquisition of 35.8 ha of built-up land and resettlement of 131 residences was almost completed. According to the IADC final agreements were reached with 119 homeowners, 103 of which have already been paid. As indicated in the questionnaire (Fig. 19) affected residents where asked about their preferable relocation site within St. Vincent. As a result of the survey 94 % of affected households prefer to relocate within the main island. This is because center of life (including employment, social and natural environment) of most of the affected people is mainland St. Vincent. Harmony Hall, southwest of Argyle, is the preferred relocation. 68 % of the households would like to move there. 13 % would like to stay near or in Argyle and refer Akers or Diamand as their favorite relocation areas. Spring, in the North of Argyle at the coast, is preferred by 10 % of the households and Pembroke, in the West of the main island, by 3 %. Not interested in moving to another location in St. Vincent or generally unready to move from Argyle are 6 % of the households.

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Fig. 25: Relocation preferences of affected households

The preferences affected people expressed were considered by the IADC in the relocation process. In addition the time frame people need for relocation is taken into consideration. Therefore to give affected people as much time as possible land acquisition process started in the south of the future runway where earthworks will be carried out first. Approximate extension of site clearance phase I is indicated in the attached "Map of Mitigation Measures (1:5000)". By April 2008 all affected land parcels within the phase I site clearance and earthwork section had been acquired by the IADC.

11.3

Agricultural Land and Empty Land Parcels Farmland Most of the above mentioned ‘land only parcels’ that are located within and intersected by the new airport boundaries are agricultural land (cultivated fields /permanent crops and pasture) as described in chapter 8.3 and form the basis for agriculture-based livelihood. These lands only parcels were valued in 2006 by the same firm that did the evaluation of properties in the area.

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In addition there are 309 empty land parcels (totalling to 113.6 ha), which will need to be purchased by the GoSVG. By early March 2008 deeds had been received from 191 property owners. The concrete time frame for the finalization of the land acquisition process is not known at this point of time. According to the IADC it is envisaged that all land within the first km of the construction corridor for the runway would have been acquired when earthworks start. Lifestock farming Livestock farmers who presently graze their animals in the area of the future airport (whether on their own or somebody else’s land) will be immediately affected by the loss of pasture in the area. When asked in how far the loss of pastures in the Project area would represent a problem for their livelihoods farmers stated that they see no problem in bringing their animals to other nearby sites under the same arrangements with the owners. One livestock farmer stated to hold further own land outside the study area. However, a common concern was that meat prices may increase drastically due to the decline of pasture. It is understood that the GoSVG is in the process of putting in place a ‘land bank’ to assist landless farmers and that those who would be affected by public sector projects are given priority in this process. The number of life stock farmers potentially affected by the loss of pasture land in the study area could not be determined and the number of animals fluctuates significantly. However, according to information from local life stock farmers the number of heads has significantly declined over the recent years from an estimated 400 to 500 in 2006 to about 70 to 80 in the Argyle estate and 15 to 20 in the Mt. Pleasant area. Up to date figures on the concrete number of life stock on mainland St. Vincent are not available. The Project will entail the loss of a significant portion of the total available pasture land on the island, which will represent a significant setback for life stock farming on the island. Since 2006 meat prices keep climbing steadily:

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while one pound of meat cost 6 EC$ on average in 2006 it got up to 8 EC$ a pound in January 2008. There are fears among the local people that the decline of life stock in the area will lead to meat shortage and result in significantly increased prices in the medium term (2 years). 11.4 Business and Commercial Activities Commercial businesses that are impacted by the Project are a special case insofar as the business itself will be valued separately from the property. Circumstances in which commercial businesses were valued are business cessation, business relocation and business disturbance due to the Project’s impact. The evaluation of the impact on business activities was conducted by Brown & Co in 2007. The selected approach is described in the “Open Market Valuation of Built Property and Land Parcels within the Proposed International Airport Site at Argyle”. The following businesses that will be impacted by the Project were evaluated and their owners will be compensated in connection with business cessation, relocation or disturbance: • • • • • • Travellers’ Bar P’Tani Resort 2 block making plants 1 upholstery business 1 contracting business 1 small contractors base / workshop.

Beside these there are some other commercial businesses within the study area that will not be directly impacted by the Project. Examples are the Oasis Retreat, Steggie’s Bar and Pebbles Restaurant.

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11.5

Fisheries The Yambou River and other nearby rivers support seasonal inland fisheries. The main fisheries are for ‘tri-tri’, crayfish, and some species of mullet. These are delicacies and, indeed, the tri-tri is a much-valued fish. The occurrence of the tri-tri can be variable in terms of timing and river location. The catches are mainly made near the river mouths. Fishing is widespread amongst community members living near to the Yambou River. Most community members fish opportunistically, but regularly. The catch is utilized for domestic consumption and, occasionally, to supplement incomes by selling a portion of the catch ‘commercially’ by the roadside or in local markets. To assess the Project’s specific impact on the tri-tri fishery of the Yambou River investigations have been conducted by the team’s fishery expert. The results of these investigations and the proposed mitigation measures are presented in Appendix III.

11.6

Cultural Assets The RC church that is located to the north of the future runway will be demolished and the nearby cemetery relocated. The MoHE has negotiated these issues with the catholic community on behalf of the IADC. To compensate the loss of the church it was agreed that a new church would be built at the expenses of the IADC north of the future airport at Escape. The question whether or not corpses would be relocated to the new cemetery will be decided individually according to the requests of families or relatives.

11.7

Conclusions and Recommendation Farmers in the area (especially Mt. Pleasant) complained about insecurity resulting from unknown start of construction and specifically from the unknown

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boundaries of the construction site to come. To minimize the social impact resulting from delayed plantation, loss of crop etc. it is urgently recommended to Shortly provide clear demarcation of the future construction corridor on the site where it cuts through arable fields; Organise the land acquisition process such that priority is given to those agricultural lands (both arable lands and pasture) that are located close to where construction will start, i.e. in the south of the study area.

To mitigate the potential effects of Project-induced decline of life stock on meat prices it is suggested that The temporary stockpiling of material (e.g. topsoil, cut material) should as much as practically feasible be limited to such areas that are owned by the IADC and that will anyhow be built upon at the later stages of construction; A soil management plan will be developed and submitted to o the IADC setting out a clear strategy of how to minimize the impact on private agricultural land while at the same time avoiding any wash out of top soil into the sea, the Yambou River or streams; The regional development plan and local development plan that will need to be established (see chapters 9.5.4 and 9.5.5) will reserve a defined acreage to be kept free from development in the area in the future; Low-lying land between the future runway and the sea be considered for a combined use of coastal protection and life stock farming. The land requirement would be in the order of 1 acre per animal. The concretely required space for an effective support of the meat prices would need to be determined by the relevant agencies.

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12.
12.1

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PLAN
Introduction Environmental monitoring is a vital component of any EIA / EMP for development projects. Monitoring helps in signalling potential problems or shortcomings at all project stages and promptly implementing corrective measures. Environmental monitoring will be required for the final detailed design, construction and operational phases of the Project. The main objectives of the proposed environmental monitoring are: • • • To support the effective implementation of environmental mitigation measures at all project stages; To assess potential changes of environmental conditions during construction and operation: and To warn significant deteriorations in environmental quality or safety for further preventive action. As was mentioned in chapter 1.2 the Project will be built and operated under specific framework conditions. As regards construction there will be no contract between the GoSVG / the IADC and the Construction Unit (CU) of the Cuban and / or Venezuelan workers to support the full and correct implementation of environmental measures proposed in the CEMP by binding clauses or technical specifications. It is understood that there will be no independent construction supervision to represent the IADC and IADC’s interests on the construction site. A further relevant issue in this context is that the national institutional and regulatory framework conditions for EMP implementation and compliance monitoring appear to be weak. Given these overall framework conditions it becomes clear that specific institutional structures will need to be created and management procedures established to ensure • • The critical review of the detailed design of airside and landside facilities; The implementaiton of the agreed CEMP presented in this study; and

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

The operation of the new international airport in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.

The following chapters briefly explain the proposed approach for environmental monitoring during the various Project stages. Much of the proposals made for monitoring of the CEMP are based on the procedures developed for the rehabilitation and relocation of the Windward Highway, which according to those that presently deal with it on a daily basis have proven to be practical and efficient. A matrix with a summary of all monitoring steps and the relevant institutional responsibilities is provided in Appendix VII. 12.2 ICAO Compliance Monitoring and Detailed Design Review Compliance of the Project design and future operations with ICAO standards and recommendations will be ensured as follows: The final detailed design will be reviewed by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) to confirm that the various provisions of ICAO Annex 14 are complied with. During and upon finalisation of construction further checks and reviews will be carried out by the ECCAA to obtain ICAO certification for the new airport. The to be created Airport Company or Airport Management Authority will be responsible for ensuring compliance of airport operations with the safety and environmental protection requirements of ICAO Annexes 16 and 18 (see suggestions under Chapter 10.4 / Appendix VIII). The responsibility for the establishment of the recommended regulatory provisions for the certification of the airport will lie with the IADC. The follow-up of the recommendations made on the preliminary and detailed design documents will be the responsibility of the IADC who will cooperate on this with the Cuban Chief Advisor and the design team from Venezuela.

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

12.3 12.3.1

Responsibilities and Necessary Institutional Arrangements IADC To strengthen the institutional capacities of the IADC for EMP implementation and monitoring it is suggested that An environmental monitor will be appointed full time to the IADC’s construc tion supervision team. This environmental monitor (the ‘IADC’s Competent Person’) would not only deal with the day to day monitoring of environmental, health and safety aspects, but also act as the liaison body between the IADC, the Construction Unit of the Cuban or Venezuelan workers (in the following: CU), the relevant government institutions and agencies and other stakeholders among the public in case of complaints. The IADC’s ‘Competent Person’ (and his representative) would both need to be fluent in Spanish and have the responsibility to • Provide advice and support to the Construction Unit (CU) / the CU’s ‘Nominated Person’ (see below) on environmental issues (including reviewing and approving specific working methods / practices with potential for environmental impacts; • • • • Initiate corrective action where required and issue corrective action request to the CU and approves when completed; Review and approve the issues in the weekly Environmental Inspection Checklist; Keep his own Environmental File with copies of key correspondence on it; Regularly inform the public about the progress of construction.

Some initial on the job-training could be envisaged through cooperation with the MoTW, where the same position has been created within the PCU for the Windward Highway Rehabilitation Project.

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

12.3.2

Construction Unit The Construction Unit (CU) will be requested to Nominate a staff member (‘CU’s Nominated Person’) with the overall responsibility to ensure compliance of operations with all relevant national environmental legislation, environmental controls and environmental measures specified in the CEMP; Submit the various method statements that need to be approved be the IADCs construction supervision team prior to the beginning of operations; Set up an Emergency Response Unit with a minimum of one medical person and a medical emergency service and an ambulance available for the Project workforce. To achieve his task the CU’s Nominated Nerson (and his representative) will need to be fluent in English and will be responsible for community liaison and liaison with Governmental departments. The CU’s Nominated Person will also be responsible for maintaining the Project Environmental File which will contain: • • • Copies of all weekly Environmental Inspection Checklists; A log of Environmental Incidents and Complaints; Records of all Corrective Action Requests issues have been resolved.

Once a month the CU’s Nominated Person shall meet with the IADC’s Competent Person to review the Project Environmental File. 12.4 Final Detailed Design Phase The Board of the IADC will make the final decisions on the design and environmental management recommendations compiled in this EIA/EMP with official political backing from the Cabinet. The Cabinet would also have to approve additional budget that may be required for improving the design of the Project, for setting up the required environmental management structures during construction within the IADC and for implementing proposed mitigation measures (see Chapter 10.7). Based on the backing and basic decisions from the Cabinet and the

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

Board the IADC will ensure that the relevant recommendations will be included in the final detailed design of the Project before construction begins and inform the Cabinet and the Board accordingly. Decisions on the proposed creation of an Environmental Department within the future Airport Company / Airport Management Authority will be of utmost importance to ensure that airport operations will be sustainable and environmentally sound. It is not yet known when such decisions may be taken in the cycle of the Project, but it is suggested the issue should be discussed and decided upon as early as possible in the further planning process.

12.5

Construction Phase During construction the IADC’s Competent Person will be responsible to monitor CEMP implementation based on the provisions summarized in the matrix attached in Appendies Vi and VII. The Competent Person will also ensure that all required method statements have been submitted and approved by the competent authorities prior to the beginning of construction. In addition the Competent Person will be responsible to directly cooperate on a day to day basis with his counterpart on the side of the CU (the CU’s ‘Nominated Person’). For the purpose of quality assurance it is also recommended that the IADC

would contract an Environmental Auditor or a consulting firm to carry out independent environmental audits of the EMP records and on the ground verification. Auditing may be carried out on a quarterly basis throughout the construction period over one week at each . 12.6 Operational Phase Environmental performance of the airport during the operational phase will be monitored and continuously improved by the AC’s Environmental Department (ED), which should be established within the future airport operating company.

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

A conceptual EMP for the operational phase is attached in Appendix VIII. Further details will be developed by the to be created ED in close cooperation with the local authorities and potentially in cooperation with regional institutions.

Issued Saint Vincent, May 30th 2008 KOCKS Consult GmbH Consulting Engineers

Jürgen Meyer

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Argyle International Airport Project Environmental Impact Assessment Final Report

APPENDICES
Appendix I: Appendix II: Birds of Milligan Cay Wildlife Reserve Plant and Animal Species of the Study Area

Appendix III: The Tri-Tri Resources of St. Vincent in the Context of the Argyle Airport Development Project Appendix IV: Extract from a Cost Proposal for Archaeological Excavations Appendix V: Summary Environmental Management Plan – Detailed Design Review Phase –

Appendix VI: Summary Construction Environmental Management Plan Appendix VII: Summary Environmental Monitoring Plan Appendix VIII: Conceptual Operational Environmental Management Plan Appendix IX: List of Contacts Appendix X: References

Appendix XI: ToR Appendix XII: Concept of Obstacle Restrictions and Elimination Appendix XIII: Results of Wind Measurement Program

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