The Trans-Panama Oil Pipeline is an illustrative case study of environmental mismanagement. The project was approved and completed in 1981-1982 before submission of an environmental impact assessment. The environmental studies are seriously flawed by a number of omissions. Baseline studies of petroleum hydrocarbons in the marine ecosystems were not performed. Serious attention was not given to the possibility of a land spill or degradation of terrestrial ecosystems. The socioeconomic considerations of locating the pipeline and adjacent road through the watershed of a major hydroelectric project, as well as through the homelands of the Guaymí Indians, were ignored. As national planners guide the development of Panama's infrastructure, they can ill-afford to continue to ignore social, economic, and environmental considerations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law