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PROFEPA Closes Beachside Restaurant

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 04 December, 2010

(Chilpancingo, JG 4 December) The 100% Natural restaurant on Hamacas Beach near downtown Acapulco has been cited by Mexico's federal environmental enforcement agency (PROFEPA) for construction without a permit and injury to the environment, in this case, Acapulco's bay. The restaurant has been undergoing a substantial renovation in preparation for the coming high season; however, the construction crew never applied for a license, never filed the required environmental impact statement, and never took precautions to protect the natural environment surrounding the restaurant. For 100% Natural, a multi-national company that prides itself on its health food image and environmentally responsible policies, this event comes as quite an embarrasment.

The restaurant is on land belonging to the federal government as part of Mexico's coastline. The remodel consisted of adding an access way and a bar, a steel structure that stands on four large, poured concrete footers in the sand of the beach. One of the main violations, apart from never obtaining a license or filing an environmental impact statement, was mixing cement for the floor tiles right on the beach, where the excess would be ditched directly into the waters. The inspector from PROFEPA said that "it was observed that there was no plan for the disposal of solid residues generated by the contruction. In the area next to the storage area a lot of solid waste from the concrete had accumulated, mixed with paper, plastic, iron and organic matter." No preventive or mitigating measures were being taken to avoid pollution of the beach and bay. Cement waste was being discarded right on the beach, and the toxic solid residues were being washed into the sea. The closure of the work site by PROFEPA will surely put the 100% Natural restaurant behind schedule for its re-opening. No further work can take place until the requisite permits are issued and the pollutants cleaned up.

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