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    Well our environmental world is truly becoming more and more complicated- from witnessing potentially the worst ever marine disaster ongoing in the Gulf of Mexico – today confirmed as decimating hundreds of thousands of birds and marine species, to closer to home, bunkering fumes, dolphinariums, Tripartite and Bay issues, renewable energy and yes, the inevitable sands from the Sahara story……

    Our members are kept informed on all these issues via emails/Facebook and our website- if you are listening to this broadcast, and have never heard of the ESG and would like to find out more, please visit our website www.esg-gib.net where you can join up or alternatively access lots of information on local and regional environmental issues-

    Just to confirm we are an NGO, non profit making organisation and therefore depend on donations and support from the community to continue our work.
    Members are encouraged also to attend monthly open meetings where projects are discussed and those interested can support and participate more fully. Do please get in touch!

    Obviously air, noise and marine pollution concerns everyone

    With the summer upon us, pollution is more clearly felt as the hot temperatures amplify the problem and we all need to keep windows and doors open to cool down. We also tend to spend more time outdoors.

    The situation has been such that the ESG has issued some half a dozen press releases during this last fortnight alone on pollution from power stns, the Refinery, bunkering fumes and others. What also brought matters to a head was the threat of legal action from the EU regarding Gibraltar’s particulate and NOx levels- both harmful to health with especially harmful particulates produced by diesel engines which by the way are used in all three of our electricity generating stations.

    We have heard the Minister for the Env. suggest the EU have got it wrong with the Saharan Sands and sea salt largely to blame for excessive levels and not our activities at all- we strongly dispute this claim and others made by senior environmental officers representing Govt position on this.

    As we have done on other occasions, we are currently putting together a paper on the Govt Draft Air Quality Plan currently open for public consultation in clear and simple language, highlighting the key issues contained and our views on Govt strategy –we will of course publish this document too.

    We must not forget that Gibraltar still awaits the long promised Action Plan to deliver on the Environmental Charter “Aims and Objectives” which are there to actively steer us towards creating a healthier and better quality of life for our citizens, our families and the living environment alike-

    We do recognise that to change from business as usual to a progressive and green future will take some, shall we say courage, transparency, and purpose. So far, we are seeing glimmers of light emerge from Govt corners but with statements of Saharan sands we are truly going backwards-

    Please, let’s be honest with ourselves, get onto a green track- prioritise our action plan to put a timeframe on all the key areas and let’s not leave this for election fodder and empty promises.

    The ESG will continue to work hard to push forward this agenda as well as highlight practical solutions.

    You can reach us on: 200-48996, 54960000 email on esg@gibtelecom.net and our website again: esg-gib.net.

    Thanks for listening.


    JUNE 21ST 2010

    Xavier van der Stappen, who passed through Gibraltar on 7th April this year in his totally green prototype car, has arrived in South Africa safely and in time for the World Cup.

    His journey started in Copenhagen, hosts to the last meeting of world leaders discussing climate change.

    His aim was to travel 12000km, through 25 countries, creating awareness of the need for Governments and individuals to embrace a world without petrol.Gibraltar was his last stop before beginning the long journey through Africa and he has finally succeeded in achieving the goal to arrive in South Africa, to promote his campaign throughout the World Cup tournament. The ESG hosted Xavier’s visit to Gibraltar where an exhibition was held in Casemates promoting the vehicle and the exhibition which explored the necessity to reduce human impact on the environment. Visit CoptoCap website and Facebook page for loads of interesting information on his journey south!

    www.coptocap.org http://parisdakarnooil.org/video.html




    The following environmental organisations, Agaden (Agrupacion Gaditana de Defensa y Estudio de la Naturaleza), ESG (Environmental Safety Group), GONHS (Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society), Greenpeace, and Verdemar (Ecologistas en Accion), have written to the representative administrations in the Tripartite Forum of Spain, Gibraltar, and the United Kingdom, to claim our right to participate in the decision-making process in which measures will be taken to effectively protect the environment of our Bay.

    We had, on previous occasions, requested the setting up of a working process which would allow our participation, as interested parties, in the decisions taken by the Forum involving environmental matters. However, up until now, these requests have not been met. With this new initiative, we wish to inform the Forum that our requests are legally supported by the Aarhus Convention (1) which is backed by the United Nations, as well by EU guidelines.

    “The ESG believes that the Forum has initiated a process wherein it recognises the environmental problems affecting the Bay, and wants to find solutions. The Aarhus Convention acknowledges our right to participate in this process as an interested party, and therefore we want to secure our immediate participation,” has stated a spokesperson for the ESG.

    The Forum has agreed to give momentum to the question of co-operation on environmental matters. The meeting held in Gibraltar in July 2009 resulted in the creation of a document entitled “Framework for Early Negotiations.” This document tackles environmental issues in a forceful manner, and includes some of the proposals which had been previously submitted in two documents by the coalition of environmental groups.

    (1) According to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, the three governments which are represented in the Forum must comply with its requirement by which it must allow public participation and access to the justice system involving environmental matters, which has been ratified by the European Union. “Each part will adopt measures to enable public participation at the start of the process, that is when all the options and solutions are still possible, and when the public is still in a position to exert a real influence.”

    Govt tackles Air Quality in Gibraltar?

    Bad smog off Gibraltar April 2010

    ESG Post June 22nd 2010

    In a surprise but welcome development the Gibraltar Government has finally released its “plan” to tackle air pollution from local sources on the Rock-

    The ESG is currently assessing the draft document released yesterday and will be publishing its response asap.

    Go to www.gibraltar.gov.gi then click on Services, Environment section, Dept of Environment and then to Air Quality You will see Draft Air Quality Plan in PDF form which you can download.

    Plse send your views to esg@gibtelecom.net as we would be very interested to hear these-

    Bunkering Fumes -who do you call?

    ESG Press Release 19th June 2010

    Re Bunkering Fumes and General Pollution on the Rock

    The ESG wishes to draw attention to an issue that has begun to affect many local residents once again, that of bunkering fumes. While efforts by the agencies responsible for regulating this activity have been noted positively by the ESG, the recurring nature of the fumes issue strongly suggests that much more needs to be done to stop this smell nuisance and at times, heavily impacting activity, from affecting our quality of life.

    Vapour Recovery Systems:
    The ESG has approached Government and technical officers to legislate for vapour recovery systems to be applied to all fuel bunkering activity. This would eliminate much of the fumes problem which offends and affects many residents especially in the summer months.

    Reporting Details:
    In these last few weeks the ESG has rec’d numerous calls and has also witnessed heavy pollution from the port and offshore bunkering sites. We have established that there isn’t an immediate response facility at the Port although an out of hour’s mobile number was given to the group by the Port Authority ( see below).

    These two areas continue to present serious issues to the community and the ESG urges the Captain of the Port and his team to accelerate all such improvements during the modernising and upgrading programme which is currently going on at the Port.

    ESG Advice:
    Please note that any offensive fumes on land should be reported to the Environmental Agency daytime Mon-Frid 200-70620. Outside these times, and at weekends, you are to call 200-72500 (Police Station) and ask for the Environmental Monitor on duty.

    Obviously seaborne activity or pollution arising from the Port area needs to be reported to the Port directly. First call: 200-46254 during normal office hours and ask to speak to a Senior Port Officer. The number to call to report any issues “out of hours” is the duty Senior Port Officer on- 58669000
    You are also advised to call the Environmental Agency so they can log the incident and help out as needed in any investigation.

    Please feel free to telephone ESG if you still need assistance.
    Tel: 200-48996, 43156, 5496000 and if you have email please send information to:

    Spanish University Health Study concludes in favour of more research

    ESG Press Release 17th June 2010

    University of Seville – Health Study Results Demands more research needed in the Campo area-

    The ESG was recently made aware of the publication of a study by the University of Sevilla on mortality and environmental pollution. The objective of the study was to:

    “…analyse general mortality and premature mortality by causes of the inhabitants of the Bay, an area that is particularly exposed to atmospheric pollution.” The study was carried out in the locality of the Campo de Gibraltar, which comprises the municipalities of Algeciras, Los Barrios, San Roque and La Linea, which surround the Bay.”

    The methodology applied in the study is meticulously laid out and the document is heavily referenced throughout. It examines the many potential factors which can affect health trends and mortality in populations and concludes that the Bay towns (excluding Gibraltar), portray a higher than national risk of contracting a number of diseases or even, of dying earlier, than other Spanish communities. Sufficiently so, that the author adds:

    “These results point to the importance of continuing research in order to better understand the risk posed in the area studied and its determining factors. We think that it is also necessary to put forward specific action plans to deal with one of the possible sources of the problem, as the people of the area have been claiming for some time, all the more so when current public administrative planning for the area envisages, not the limitation of industrial concentration and communication networks, but rather accelerating and enhancing economic development to increasingly unsustainable levels. “

    The ESG shares this view especially as La Junta recently said in the Spanish media that all industrial activity on the Bay was meeting required norms and that therefore expansion of industry was likely. Until such time as the environmental load in the Bay is controlled and the impact on health of people and the living environment better understood, the ESG strongly believes that no further licenses should be issued to industry.

    The regular calls for an independent epidemiological study by Spanish citizens have been ignored by la Junta for years now, who claim to have already taken care of this issue and that there are no health problems in the area attributable to industrial activity. This latest study will add considerable weight to the need for appropriate and rigorous studies to be done to assess the impacts from heavy industrial pollution on Bay communities as potential causes behind the higher than average national mortality rates.

    The ESG has already sent the Government of Gibraltar, (currently undertaking its own independent epidemiological study), a copy of this latest study which is also posted on our website, and will be sent to all political parties.
    Please see ESG website, under Resources for copies of the Health Study in both English and Spanish – (www.esg-gib.net)

    CUTW 2010 DATES 18th & 19th SEPT

    CUTW 2010 DATES For your diary:

    Sat 18th and Sun 19th September 2010-

    Sign up as a volunteer or better still get a few of your friends and colleagues together in a team to join us make Gibraltar’s environment cleaner, healthier and a place we can be proud of!!
    Contact us on : 200-48996, 43156 or 54960000 to register or you can also email us on: esg@gibtelecom.net.

    We tackle many sites around Gibraltar each year (since 2005), and concentrate on green and coastal areas. If you think you know a site that has never been tackled that fits into our category we shall be happy to include on the list.

    Planning sessions to be held on the 20th August, the 3rd September and final one on the 17th September Held at 8pm for Team leaders only please- Location will be the ESG office unless team numbers are such that it requires us to relocate to other, larger premises. ESG office: 1st Floot, Fit 4 Life Building, City Mill lane.

    Sunday 19th will be reserved for finishing off projects on the previous day and preparing for a proper do to include a get together, debrief etc. More info on the full programme soon-

    Look forward to seeing you soon-

    ESG Committee

    ACTUAL CLEAN UP WEEKEND Dates 18th and 19th September

    Call us on: 200-48996, or 43156 or 54960000


    See below document sent yesterday to previous team leaders and individual volunteers:


    Hi there!

    Hope you are all doing well- Many of you will be in regular contact with the ESG and will be up-to-date with what is happening, but for others, this will be one of the few times you hear from us directly.
    It is getting close to that time of year again….the CLEAN UP! We have carried out spot clean ups already in 2010, back of Stadium and Rosia Beach area- mainly result of overwhelming amounts of marine debris and storm damage- both were very good efforts from our volunteers and transformed the areas with surprisingly lasting effects. Read on……..
    **The actual date for this years’ major event is the 18th and 19th of September, though we should be focussing most of the clean up effort on the Saturday. Sunday will be used to tidy up any unfinished business and then enjoy a get together, debate and a thank you to volunteers by way of a do organised by the ESG. More details on that very soon!

    **We shall have the usual planning sessions for team leaders to take stock of our current littering situation on the Rock and decide the best use of this concentrated effort by our teams of volunteers. Individual volunteers will be contacted directly over phone/email. Pleased to advise that the GBC Open Day Trust will once again support our event so we can ensure we have materials and other costs covered.

    Planning Sessions as follows:
    20/8, 3/9 and final 17/9 at 8pm for one hour max-
    Will be held in ESG office, City Mill Lane- Fit 4 Life Building, 1st floor

    NB:Please note it’s important to attend one of the mtgs before the final one on the 17/9 which is mainly to collect equip for teams. (esp if this is the first time your team is taking part) We understand people are travelling during these weeks but it should be possible for you to make one of the sessions
    The importance of these meetings is also to have a chance to discuss these issues and review any changes over the past year and hear everyone’s views on this important community and environmental issue
    The main difference this year is that we have an office in town now, which is manned fairly frequently during the week and so we can be accessed more easily than in previous years.
    Please make a note in your diary! – Look forward to seeing you very soon-
    Kind regards
    Janet Howitt

    New Power Station, Dust and Sea Salt

    9th June 2010

    The ESG responds to the Government statement on salt and dust being the prime problems on air pollution on the Rock with some incredulity.

    It is absolutely clear to anyone close to the power stations in Rosia Road and Gib V area that air and noise emissions from these are extremely heavy and intolerable.

    To support these concerns further, the ESG looks at documentation published by Government agencies in preparation for the new replacement power station. These documents are posted on the Environmental Agency website. On the Decision Paper, page 25, you will see a graph (Table C1), stating the high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NOX) at various hotspot sites and how these will radically decrease, indeed virtually disappear, on closure of offending stations.

    Alongside this pollutant are others like particulate matter, or dust and smoke as referred to by the Minister of the Environment, also produced in the burning of oil for fuel, and which, combined with NOX, creates a harmful environment for humans.

    Clearly sea salt and sand dust must be present in our environment given our geographical location. Construction dust will certainly play a role too. However, as to the reasons given by the Minister that it is these sources that are responsible for driving our levels of PM10’s over the legal limit, we do not accept this and would expect Govt to support this explanation by publishing all details of its studies.

    Among Governments data sources to substantiate their theory of Sands from the Sahara is the Consejeria de Medio Ambiente in Spain. It is well known that the ESG has researched, analysed and challenged the quality of this data source with respect to the “legal” limits of emissions by Refinery et al in the Bay. We would therefore wish to see published all data material which Government is working from to make such assertions to the EU that we are complying with safe legal levels.

    The fact that our Government is accepting the data given to them from Spain of natural PM10 levels and sources to explain the exceeding of the limits means therefore that they must also accept that the Campo is exposed to the same levels of natural particulates and yet they have not exceeded the legal limits. Which can only mean one of two things, either that the data being supplied by Spain is flawed or alternatively that the air around the industrial complex in the bay is actually less polluted than the air in Gibraltar when natural sources of pollution are subtracted.

    This doesn’t fit in with what we believe to be the case. Either scenario is bad news for Gibraltar and our quality of life.

    However, and at risk of repeating ourselves, the main issue here is that many thousands of local residents are suffering the ill effects from our three ageing power stations which are known to produce higher than permissible levels of NOx and PM10’s and call for a straightforward answer and commitment from this Govt on when a replacement station will be fully operational once and for all.

    OIL SPILL Gulf of Mexico

    For Information: Monday 7th June 2010

    Check out pictures of impact on wildlife from ongoing oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico-

    Words cannot describe the widespread horror being inflicted on the wildlife in the region (along with impacts on jobs and livelihood)- health implications too for residential populations affected by the spill as well as many clean up workers and volunteers-

    Risky and dangerous business- Makes the case for renewable energy all the more urgent-