26 Sep 2006

Marshalls mayor may not take part in controversial decision over drydock site

6:04 pm on 26 September 2006

The mayor of the Marshall Islands capital, Majuro, may not participate in a controversial decision over whether to allow a dry dock facility to go ahead.

The mayor, Rele Alberttar, is also a member of the board of the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, which will meet next week to decide whether to grant a Taiwanese company, Ching Fu, the go ahead for a second site.

A first site was turned down by the EPA more than a year ago over public concerns that it was near hotels and houses but there is also opposition to the new proposal because it's located opposite a primary school and close to a residential area.

The director of the EPA, John Bungitak, says the mayor may step aside from the decision making process because he has interests in the site.

Mr Alberttar could not be contacted for comment because he is overseas.