Study areas

A Terms of Reference (ToR) document explains what needs to be considered and what’s going to happen during a project or study. For this project, the ToR laid out the scope and process for the EIA. Public involvement helped shape the process during the ToR drafting process.

A Draft ToR was available for public comment on Monday, 30 January 2023. Two public meetings were held (Tuesday, 7 February 2023; and Thursday, 9 February 2023). As a result of your input at those public meetings, the Draft ToR was updated to include suggestions and concerns.

More than a dozen changes were made to the ToR thanks to public input, with some of the key changes including:

The Alternatives Analysis Process was updated. The Draft ToR was focused on slight modifications to the originally gazetted corridor. Since the Draft ToR, a more robust alternatives analysis process has been incorporated. Additional East-West corridors within the EIA Study Area are being evaluated to determine which best meets the critical success factors of the project with the least environmental damage.

Three “Alternate Futures” were considered. This discussion about population projection and land use led to the Land Use Charrette, a coordinated meeting between appropriate government ministries. The purpose of the Land Use Charrette was to discuss these three “Alternate Futures” for 2074, including a low, medium, and high population growth and land use scenario.

Operational Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions were included. The Final ToR was updated to take GHGs into consideration. The EIA now includes an assessment of the potential impacts of GHG emissions associated with the project.

The ToR also described seven environmental disciplines that are being studied for the EIA to understand the potential impacts of the EWA project.

Each of these disciplines considers a different facet of the natural or human environment, how current conditions could be impacted by the EWA, and different options for developing the EWA while limiting the environmental impact.

In addition to the seven environmental disciplines, the project team is also studying Transportation and Mobility and Engineering. These two disciplines inform the design of the EWA Extension and provide data to the environmental study areas.

Heritage sites are human and natural resources that contribute to a specific country’s, region’s, area’s, or group’s culture.

The design specifications of an infrastructure project affect not only the cost and timeline for implementing the infrastructure, but the environmental impacts as well.

Geo-environmental processes on Grand Cayman contribute to sourcing potable water to residents and supporting natural resources.

Reducing emissions is an important part of the Cayman Islands National Energy Policy (NEP).

Hydrology and drainage are important natural processes centered on how water moves across the surface of the island and where it ends up.

Noise and vibration associated with construction and with traffic can change the environment.

The study of socioeconomics looks at how social behaviors and an area’s economics are interrelated within a society.

Grand Cayman is home to a diverse range of biological communities, and the terrestrial ecology portion of the EIA examines the potential impacts of the proposed action on those natural resources.

The EWA Extension has the potential to beneficially impact transportation and mobility on Grand Cayman, especially when it comes to connecting the east with the west.