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    Rosia Bay Development

     Key Words:- Roads, Parking, Storm Drains and Sewage, Clean up the World

    The ESG broadly welcomes the project presented by private developers for Rosia Bay.  It has some concerns, which were raised by its representative, J Howitt, during this weeks’ DPC consideration, but these were not reported in the wider press. The group believes these issues are a matter of public interest.


    The ESG raised the question of the already overcrowded parking in the vicinity immediately surrounding the entrance to Rosia Bay and that this needs to be given serious consideration. Also clarification was sought by the ESG on the actual entry point; it was learnt that no further parking provision is planned for now and that public access will be exclusively on foot via a new bridge almost at road level. The steep ramp used by the majority of current users will in future only be used by staff that will have parking provided at Rosia Bay – there will be no parking for the public on site.


    Another point raised by the ESG was the irregular but real danger of storm drain overflow causing sewage entering the bay from time to time, approximately where the new restaurant will be built. The ESG urges for this to be addressed early when taking the project forward. The group expects the planned EIA to address all issues, including health and safety, and all other important environmental and heritage factors.


    There are many issues to consider when appraising the project and how it can benefit an area like Rosia Bay. We are all aware of the depressing state of neglect, vandalism, dumping, littering – on land and into the sea – that has pervaded this area for the past decade. The ESG has coordinated clean up teams of volunteers removing tons of rubbish from both land and seabed sites at Rosia Bay for the past 9 years. The group will be happy to share all information it has available with developers in the interests of protecting and safeguarding the biodiversity in the bay.


    Overall, the group welcomes the proposed, understated development at Rosia that will lift the site from the abandoned and littered area it has become. Logistical problems of access, parking and the long term commercial viability of the project will also ultimately determine its real success, but for today, it is hoped the initial issues we and others have flagged are overcome and the project moves forward smoothly.


    The ESG does not always report on DPC proceedings but its intention is to highlight issues that are of concern to the group and its members and particularly when it considers these are in the public interest.”

     (See following link for photographs of past clean ups at this site by our Clean up Volunteer teams.:-


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/48032210@N04/10184997426/in/set-72157636384411593/  )

    CEPSA Oil Refinery and percentages February 2014

    ESG Press Release


     Key Words:   Environmental Compliance, Nocturnal Pollution and European Commission

    In a recent article in the Spanish Press, CEPSA Oil Refinery announced it was meeting 85% of their targets with regards to environmental compliance.


    We are all too familiar with the regular and heavy, nocturnal pollution released into the local environment from this company under the cover of darkness. In windless conditions these toxic emissions can remain in our air systems for extended periods of time as occurred only last week.  We also know that due to the financial crisis in Spain, independent monitoring of industry emissions by the State has fallen far below what can be described as acceptable, never mind best practice.


    The emissions in the attached picture exposes a company that continuously tries to present itself as a model industry following highest standards when the reality is very, very different indeed.


    EC response to ESG via MEPs-


    Recent news from the European Commission is that it confirms that Spain reported an exceedance of the target value set for nickel in 2012. The EC advises that a new Directive – 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions, coming into force on 7 Jan 2014, will replace the IPPC Directive for existing installations. The new Directive will require permitting authorities to use BAT (Best Available Techniques) conclusions as the reference for setting the permit conditions. Such conclusions for the refining of mineral oil and gas are planned for adoption in 2014. Within four years after their publication, the national authorities have to ensure that all permits for refineries are updated accordingly and that the installations comply with those permit conditions.


    ESG’s view-


    ESG regards the procedures at the EC as far from satisfactory. It acts as a smokescreen for industry allowing excessive pollution to go on unaddressed for years at a time, instead licensing the degradation of the living environment for its citizens and wildlife, and at worst, exacerbating ill health among its people. The ESG believes that regardless of any real gains achieved via this lobbying process, that the alternative, of doing nothing, is not acceptable. The EC is a public service body and should be helping communities, everywhere, achieve a basic, clean and healthy environment in which to live and raise families. It should be held to account.


    The ESG will continue lobbying GOG and Opposition, MEPs and EU commissioners, demanding for better policing and enforcement at a national level.


    CEPSA Refinery heavy pollution taken by residents in area

    ESG Radio Newsletter 20/02/14

    Radio Broadcast:-

    Key Words:- Development and Planning – CEPSA Oil Refinery – Western Beach

    In today’s newsletter we look at the upcoming Development and Planning Commission meeting coming up next Tuesday the 25th February at 9.30am in the John Mackintosh Hall. The ESG has had a number of discussions with people in our community expressing views or concerns about some of the projects, which are now in sight for discussion and approval by the DPC.

    In the past 12 months and especially since the start of 2014 a number of very significant building developments have been agreed, which, collectively, means Gibraltar will once again be relegated to a major building site, if temporarily so, for now. Whilst many see these as important for Gibraltar, by meeting social and economic needs, with the undoubted spin offs this will provide for the various related industries, the scale of some of the projects warrants careful, holistic handling. This is critical if we are to mitigate against various environmental impacts such as disruption to traffic, impact on air and noise quality, and generally, from the sense that we are once again living in a building site – something many will also agree we experienced under the previous administration.

    There is no doubt that Gibraltar will be undergoing a major physical transformation and that we, as a community, and via a more public planning system, can and should become more involved in the decision making process.

    For this we need information and it will be useful for those of you interested to know that projects such as Rosia Bay and the Caleta Hotel will be presented to the Commission on the 25th, that’s next Tuesday at 9.30am onwards. Hope to see you there. Oh, a reminder also that plans for these projects are up for viewing at the Town Planning Offices.

    Tracking other issues as we do, the recent heavy pollution from the Cepsa Oil Refinery has not escaped our notice and we shall be issuing a press release on this later today.

    Locally, the issue of Western Beach and bathing water quality remains as dire as ever. Check out the values on the EA site and you will see that levels of sewage remain illegal and a threat to public health. We continue to monitor and liaise with the MEPs on this and will also be releasing an update shortly.


    Please contact us with any concerns or information at esg@gibtelecom.net. Call us at 54960000. Thanks for listening.  

    ESG Newsletter 6th February 2014

    Environmental news today covers old and new issues, which affect Gibraltar and the region. At the last DPC meeting, for example, and on planning matters, facing a group of protesters to the Marriott hotel project as it stands, decision was taken to defer under the chair’s advice that a major project such as that proposed by the Marriott applicant should aim to work with the community it intends to live among. Back to the drawing board to revise design and scale. Next DPC meeting will be held at the end of February with the agenda published a week beforehand and found on the Town Planning website.

    At a recent Litter Committee meeting the ESG presented a detailed report on last year’s Clean up the world action. Outlining ongoing issues at various sites, the report reflects a dynamic campaign that highlights problems we need to solve together as a community, both in cleaning, prevention and behavioural issues. Enforcement is a big and difficult issue that a nation our size seems reluctant to embrace even though steps are being taken by the authorities to train and license more of its employees to fine litterers and fly tippers. The ESG believes the Clean Up campaign has also achieved great dividends for Gibraltar with the report also celebrating the significant gains for Rosia Bay’s waters after a concentrated effort by the largest diving team we have had to date as well as energetic ground crews to help remove waste pulled up by divers. A summarised version of the Clean Up Report in this area and many others will be found on our website this week – esg-gib.net.

    It is hoped that a report from the Litter Committee outlining the many measures being taken by Govt and agencies to improve Gibraltar’s physical environment on litter and waste management will also be issued forthwith.

    We recently went public with our concerns about the mother fuel ship coming to the detached mole heralding the start of a discussion for a “land-based” fuel supply for barges that service international maritime traffic. We are not advocating “no business”, simply best practice. Our press release is published on our website and we continue to hold talks with government ministries and the port about future plans for what is clearly an important business for Gibraltar. More information on this will be released soon.

    Plans for reclamation for the new Power Station are gathering pace with in-depth assessments being done to ensure the infill goes ahead with least possible environmental impact. This is welcomed by the ESG.

    An issue we are currently examining is that of ship hull cleaning in Gibraltar. We have been contacted by overseas journalists, seen articles in international media on this and have also been approached by concerned members of the public. This relates specifically to a charge that Gibraltar and Algeciras Ports continue to undertake hull cleaning practices using methods and or materials which are banned elsewhere in the world. This is highly disturbing in actuality, because of the impact on the environment, and also in giving Gibraltar a bad name overseas. The ESG is currently looking into this matter and plans to issue a full statement once all the facts are collected. Anyone with robust information on this is to please contact us at 200-48996 or mobile 54960000, or email at esg@gibtelecom.net. All contact information is available online and in the telephone directory.

    The ESG wishes to also draw attention to recent polluting episodes across the border as these have regional importance. Spanish group Agaden have lodged official complaints to La Junta over the treatment facilities for hazardous industrial waste at GAMASUR in Los Barrios for some time but issues have peaked once again with highly toxic substances, such as cyanide, leaking from the plant and threatening river systems. The ESG will bring this to the notice of our MEPs as this carries serious implications for the Bay environment and these shockingly poor standards of containment of hazardous waste must be improved upon urgently.

    That’s it for now, please get in touch if you would like any more information on what you have heard, or indeed, have any information for us. Thanks for listening.