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  • ESG meets CEPSA officials

    ESG, legal adviser, BBB, after 3 hour long mtg with CEPSA

    24th May 2010

    ESG meets with CEPSA after 6 years

    The ESG would like to issue a short statement on a meeting which took place today at the CEPSA Oil Refinery in San Roque.


    An intense 3hr long, cordial meeting between the ESG, legal adviser, BB partner and CEPSA technical and communication team, produced the following outcome:-

    ESG based the meeting on the audit it obtained in 2009 (via its lawyers from La Junta) and placed 17 technical questions before CEPSA. (The audit had been commissioned by La Junta after a period of heavy pollution incidences by CEPSA in 2007 which the ESG also publicly highlighted at the time).

    CEPSA representatives claimed that several of the audit recommendations were already in process, with other soon to follow. The ESG believes that the company will only react when it feels pressure from the regulatory authorities, who in turn, respond to public pressure. The group reminded CEPSA of the mtg it had with the company in 2004 when it claimed to be meeting all required legislation.

    However, it has transpired that during the last 6 years the company has been forced to implement a series of measures to improve and curtail many of the widely felt impacts from its activities. When quizzed as to why, CEPSA explained that this has been done because of changes in legislation and the impositions made on them by the audit. This demonstrates that prior to our mtg with them in 2004 they could have done much more to ameliorate their environmental impact. The ESG was interested to hear that its sampling efforts via the Bay Bucket Brigade and contacts with the majority shareholder, Total, had helped play a role in focusing the issue of poor standards and practices by the plant.

    The ESG and BBB add that they were not allowed to take the bucket onto Refinery property. Notwithstanding, future sampling outside the perimeter fence line will be pursued

    The ESG reiterated to CEPSA that its campaign is to seek best available technology applied to all aspects of the Refinery’s operations and a healthier environment for all. It presented to the company the latest health study to emanate from a Spanish university showing potential links between high levels of pollution and disease (plse see ESG website under Resources for “Estudio-Bahia-Algeciras”.)-

    The groups will now be considering the next steps in its campaign at a local and European level.

    In picture : Adolfo Rivas (Head of Environmental Protection, Safety and Quality), Juan Uceda (Bay Bucket Brigade) Janet Howitt, Henry Pinna and Tom Scott of the ESG, and David Dumas QC of Hassan’s International Law firm.

    ( A fuller report will be published on the ESG website in the course of the week)




    Sunday 23rd May at 14.00- documentary on Bay

     environment called Tierra y Mar with footage

    of the ESG’s efforts to clean up industrial pollution

    News Flash!!!

    Please help us promote tonights broadcast of a bay documentary on TVE1 Programme “Repor” at 0.15 called “Algo Huele Mal”

    The ESG issued a press release last week advising  the last minute pulling of this programme caused by CEPSA’s intervention.  It’s now going ahead and we hope that many of the issues and concerns raised by NGO’s and citizens on health impacts from industrial pollution will have been kept in the programme-

    Its important to see this programme in the context of:

    • the ongoing Epidemiological studies being done by the Gibraltar Government
    • the recent call by the European Parliament for Spain to also carry out similar, rigorous studies
    • the recent statements by La Junta that it has already carried out adequate studies which show no link to industrial pollution
    • the recently released (attached) study from the University of Seville rings alarm bells once again over the high risk of disease causality from exposure to industrial chemical emissions

    The ESG will continue to lobby locally, at cross border and at European level on this critical issue

    Clean Up At Rosia Bay Beach

    This weekend a small group of 15 volunteers collected a skipful of waste from Rosia Bay Beach over a period of three hours. The ESG provided the necessary cleaning equipment and coordinated the project which saw a small area transform into a surprisingly beautiful beach. The beach and rocky seashore had been badly affected in recent storms which had covered the area in a thick layer of marine flotsam, largely made up of plastic containers and a lot of packaging material, such as polystyrene, itself a serious threat to marine and bird life.

    Clearly users also contribute to the general litter mayhem, and, as always, we also hope to achieve public awareness by taking this hands-on action ourselves.

    Although the group was largely made up of ESG members, we did attract some walkers to join in too and all in all had a satisfying experience. Around 4 dogs participated too!

    It was a rewarding morning and gave us all an opportunity to consider the best use of this historic and great recreational area. Dolphinarium did not score at all, while sensitive development as a recreational and swimming area was quite a popular idea among the volunteers. What is clear, however, is that the site is in dire need of TLC and some serious attention.

    Further clean ups in the area are planned- you can register your interest in helping/taking part by emailing: esg@gibtelecom.net, or calling: 200-48996 or 54960000.

    Thanks to all the volunteers who did a great job and to Gib Community Projects for their kind assistance in providing a skip.

    Industry exerts astonishing influence on Spanish State Television

    ESG wishes to inform the Gibraltar community of a remarkable turn of events recently when a state owned television station in Barcelona TVE1, was prevented from broadcasting its scheduled and advertised programme on health and the environment in Spain and Gibraltar, a week last Sunday. Much noise has been made in the campo media about the influence exerted by CEPSA Madrid intervening in the showing of the programme. The company claimed it did not accurately reflect the industry position and was therefore an “incomplete programme”.

    The ESG, who together with David Dumas QC of Hassan’s, were also filmed and interviewed extensively as part of the programme,  made contact with the producer who confirmed this astonishing intervention by CEPSA Madrid which resulted in the last minute pulling of the programme. Its broadcast, we are told, will take place once CEPSA’s additional interview clarifying its position on these issues has been included in the programme.

    The producer expressed extreme disappointment at the pulling of her programme believing that the position of the industries in the Bay had already been adequately covered in her programme with footage of the “Plataforma de Amigos Para una Buena Imagen de Industrias de la Bahia”.

    She further advised that she would now be seeking to include an interview with
    Professor Benach, Author of Atlas de Mortalidad studies revealing alarming clusters of cancers and higher mortalities in the Bay area.

    The ESG is now waiting for news from TVE 1 as to when the programme will be aired.

    The ESG furthermore wish to notify the public that it recently participated in another Spanish made Documentary, this time on a Nature channel, on Canal Sur. The group was informed that it would be screened within the next week or so.  The ESG explained its work at European Commission and cross border level and especially on the work carried out under the Bucket Brigade and air sampling efforts to expose the dangerous emissions by industry in the area, – it is sincerely hoped that this programme will not be censored in any way.

    Details on date and time will be made public.