sábado, 17 de marzo de 2007
City slaughter house debate
From Cesar Arias and the board of directors of El Charco Botanical Garden
Expressing disapproval of the proposed site for the new slaughterhouse in a letter to Mayor Jesús Correa, the Board of Directors of the Botanical Garden claimed the location would have a negative impact on both the urban and nearby natural environments.
The Board of Directors of the Botanical Garden considers the proposed location, near the new Presidencia and bordering park buffer zones, unacceptable for numerous reasons. In regard to El Charco del Ingenio itself, there is danger of water contamination if the slaughterhouse is built where planned, as streams and dams in the nearby protected area would very likely be exposed to waste waters from the slaughterhouse.
Claims by the government that the waste water would not only be treated, but reused in the same slaughterhouse—as is mandatory in a TIF model slaughterhouse—have not convinced the Board, which feels that the polluted water could, in unforeseen circumstances, still pollute the land and pose a great risk for the ecological and recreational zone of the Botanical Garden and Parque Landeta, as well as for the urban zone of San Miguel de Allende. Past experiences in San Miguel de Allende, in relation to water treatment projects that have not been wholly successful, does little to encourage trust in the new promises of the government in regard to the slaughterhouse water treatment plans.
As well as water pollution, the Board is concerned about olfactory and air pollution. The proposed location of the slaughterhouse lies in the dominant NE-SW wind axis, which would frequently carry the smells, and particles, of the animals to places such as Parque Clouthier, the new Civil Hospital and the colonias of Palmita de Landeta and Ignacio Ramirez.
The proposed site, located in the upper part of the urban zone, may also contribute to further traffic congestion along the Libramiento Manuel Zavala and the Boulevard de la Conspiración. This is due to the fact that the slaughterhouse in San Miguel would be an inter-municipal one, thereby having animals, live and slaughtered, shipped in regularly, especially from Comonfort.
Finally, the Board of Directors of the Botanical Garden pointed out that while, currently, the proposed site is on the outskirts of the city, San Miguel will inevitably continue to grow. This will force the authorities to, once again, relocate the slaughterhouse, causing further headaches, expense and debate.
Jorge Zavala director of Public Works responds
In response to El Charco del Ingenio’s disapproval, Jorge Zavala, head of Public Works, claimed that as the slaughterhouse will be TIF-regulated, it will not have any water discharge outside of the plant. “We will have a water treatment plant that will treat all the waste water produced during the slaughter process,” said Zavala. “The water treatment plant in the slaughterhouse will work properly just as it is working in the current one. I invite all those who doubt this, to go and see it functioning.”
Zavala added, reiterating its accordance with TIF regulations, that all animal residual parts will be processed on-site, with none leaving the facilities. “The TIF slaughterhouse will have all the requirements specified by the Government Secretary (Secretaría de Gobernación) and the Health State Department. It is already validated by the Health State Department,” said Zavala, while displaying the documents with the seal of the Secretary and signed by Doctor Gerardo Ortega Martínez, head of the department. Zavala also showed the document from the Agricultural and Farming State Department that validates the slaughterhouse, signed on February 20, 2007 by José María Anaya Ochoa, head of the department.
Zavala also proffered the environmental impact document issued by the local Ecology Department on May 31, 2006, which states the requisite policies by which the slaughterhouse must abide. “The slaughter house cannot emit toxic odors, as a TIF slaughterhouse must be sealed,” said Zavala.
Regarding the passing of trucks bearing dead and live animals through Boulevard de la Conspiración and Libramiento Manuel Zavala, Zavala said that most of the livestock farms in San Miguel are on the road to Los Rodríguez and Doctor Mora, which was one of the main reasons for selecting the site to build the slaughterhouse. “Regarding the trucks coming from Comonfort, there would be one or two a day. Comonfort is just a small site,” claimed Zavala.
Zavala also stated that the city will never reach the site where the new slaughterhouse will be built. “The land is a municipal property so no housing development can be built around it,” he said. The document that proves the municipal property is Deed no. 68 signed before public notary no. 11, José Luis Sautto Gutiérrez, on April 18, 1986.