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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 080813

    Radio Broadcast 8th August 2013

    • We wanted to say first of all that we have been running our membership renewal programme these past few weeks and would like to thank all members who have responded to date; also for the messages of encouragement and support for the work we do towards improving our local environment. With the changes in funding we are currently experiencing we need community support more than ever and invite you to please contact us and join up by emailing: esg@gibtelecom.net and you will be sent details. All donations gratefully received.

    • We shall later today be issuing a press statement on Western Beach, closed this week by the police due to high levels of sewage contamination – to our knowledge no official statement has yet been made, and no details as to what is planned for this beach are known. What is clear is that very high levels of sewage contamination picked up by the agency’s sampling on Monday, were realised on Tuesday and led to the order given for police assistance to close the beach. What a situation this has developed into! Keep the beach closed until its safe – that’s our view.

    • An analysis of water quality on the Environmental Agency website shows Western beach 2013 is presenting a much darker picture than for the same period in 2012. Of 15 sample days in July 2013, two thirds failed guide levels, with one failing mandatory. In July 2012, of the 9 sampling days, only one failed guide levels, with none failing mandatory.

    In a matter of weeks, this summer we have seen Western Beach close twice. Instead of keeping the beach closed however, Government has chosen to increase beach use and the sense of security of use by introducing an Aqua Park feature!!. We do not understand their position and are approaching Govt directly on this. The ESG and fellow campaigners will also be following up their complaint lodged with the European Commission.

    • Another discussion this week has focused on artificial reefs. The ESG has been contacted by a number of international media bodies for comment and interview. We have strived to steer conversation towards the environment and the wider bay issues and shall continue to do so as best we can.

    • Only yesterday we rec’d calls and reports from both sides of the border regarding the heavy flaring at the CEPSA Oil Refinery. This highlights the importance of working together as Bay citizens for a clean environment as politics clearly defines borders, but we all breathe the same air! Given the Oil Refinery is under new ownership and the episodes of heavy flaring and other pollution becoming more frequent, the ESG is looking into lodging a fresh complaint with the European Commission. More news on this soon.

    • For those of you with an interest in planning and development issues in Gibraltar, make a note in your diary that the next DPC meeting has been brought forward will now take place on the 5th September – likely to be at 9.30am though this will be confirmed closer to the time.

    • Under the CUTW banner we also ask you to please send in details of any litter hotspot areas that could receive a good clean up during this year’s campaign held on the 21st September. Remember you can also sign up to volunteer simply by emailing esg@gibtelecom.net or calling 54960000. Check our website esg-gib.net for more details and where you can download this year’s poster. Thanks for listening.

    ESG on Nuclear Submarines

    ESG Press Release
    Nuclear Submarines
    8th August 2013

    Given the concerns raised by the MoD itself over the safety of the ageing nuclear submarines, the ESG hopes that these vessels will be decommissioned as soon as possible.

    (See article with MoD report below)

    Guardian Article in Chronicle

    UK’s ageing subs a danger, says The Guardian

    Britain’s ageing hunter-killer nuclear submarines are suffering mounting technical problems that could endanger the safety of sailors and the public, a report from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has warned. The revelations were made in The Guardian newspaper.

    It said that five Trafalgar-class submarines, between 22 and 29 years old, are running into reliability issues with the reactors that power them, increasing the risk of cracks, pipe failures and radiation leaks. The oldest, HMS Tireless, leaked radioactive coolant from its reactor for eight days in February. This was the submarine that was stranded in Gibraltar for a year from May 2000.

    At the moment the problems are being effectively managed, says the report from the MoD’s internal safety watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR). But it has issued a new amber warning that attention is required to ensure maintenance of adequate safety performance”.


    ESG Press Release On Western Beach

    8th August 2013

    Given the high levels of pollution which caused the police to close Western Beach on Tuesday afternoon the ESG believes that the Government has to seriously consider keeping it closed until such time as the contamination problem is finally resolved.
    The delays in sample results alone mean that people are swimming in potentially heavily contaminated water without knowing.
    Government should explore the possible use of a “real time “sampling method that can at least confirm the presence of numerous bacteria with the sophisticated interpretation of the sample being finalised a day or so later.
    The ESG further believes that Government should be discouraging bathing at this extremely unpredictable beach, with its recurrent bouts of heavy pollution, instead of actively encouraging its use by introducing the aqua-park feature.
    Finally, the ESG stands by previous statements it has made public on this issue especially the fact that the beach is prone to bouts of sewage contamination and presents a serious risk to public health. The group continues to believe that the account given by the family suffering an infection understood by them to have been contracted at Western Beach is genuine and raises significant issues that need to be addressed by the authorities.

    See :- http://www.environmental-agency.gi/beachresult.php?beachid=6