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February 28th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) A complaint filed before the Environmental Administrative Tribunal more than five years ago over the burning of sugar cane in Guanacaste will finally see the light of day by order of the Constitutional Court.
The complaint was filed by Guanacaste resident, Gadi Amit in November 2008 against three sugar mills, alleging their burning of sugar cane was causing health and environmental problems for Guanacaste residents.
The Constitutional Court has now ruled that the time has come for the Tribunal to address Amit’s complaint, ordering the delivery of all records and a timeline as to what actions have been taken to date within the next 3 days, saying that Amit’s fundamental rights have been violated by the “unreasonable” time it has taken for the complaint to be addressed.
The Court added that the lack of action by the Tribunal, which operates under the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae), violates environmental laws.
Residents in various locations in Guanacaste frequently complain about cane burning, which dirties the air with smoke and soot, causing breathing problems, dirtying homes and streets, and polluting rivers.
Before sugar cane is harvested, the entire field is burned, reducing the volume of the cane by burning off the leaves in order that more cane can fit on each truck.