The Burj Hammoud dump site.
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Environmental regulations and recommendations have been skirted by landfill projects around Beirut as a result of a 2016 Cabinet decision to reopen the historical coastal dumpsites, experts and government sources say. Cabinet Decision 1/2016 issued on March 3 of last year, stipulated that dumping should resume in the old Burj Hammoud and Costa Brava landfills in response to the crisis caused by the prolonged waste crisis at the time. Lebanese Environmental Law 8633 of 2012 stipulates that an EIA must be conducted and referred to the Environment Ministry before a project can commence. An EIA is divided into two sections, the first assesses the impacts of a certain project and the second – known as an Environmental Management Plan – aims to mitigate and manage issues that may arise. The documents show that just four boreholes – tests used to determine the chemical composition of a dumpsite – were drilled into the garbage mountain, which had a volume of 4 million cubic meters, to determine that the waste was fit to be used in land reclamation.
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