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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 180615

    Key Words: World Environment Day, Oil Recycling, Nature, DPC, Gasoil fumes, CEPSA, Western Beach and the Petitions Committee Commissioner, LNG Reports, The Pope and Climate Change

    The recent World Environment Day event registered growing activity within our society towards greener practices, such as hybrid vehicles, solar technology, marine monitoring, mobile recycling services, and the ESG had a stand highlighting local and regional environmental issues of concern to raise awareness.

    We have published a list of the new oil recycling facility on our website as these orange bins are now permanently at their locations. Please remember to dispose of your used oil in tightly sealed plastic containers. Another service underway is the mobile recycling facility. Although very welcome this requires better information to be made available to the community, as at present, there is none, and its difficult for residents to guess when the bins may appear in their neighbourhood again. One idea we hope will be translated into action will be posting a list with such info at the main supermarkets and, at the sites they will be placed in. These are good measures and are welcomed by the ESG.

    Also welcomed was closure on the accident at the Nature Plant which resulted in the loss of the life of a contract worker. See our website for our statement on this. We have also seen a busy time at the DPC with more projects going through – look out for an opinion piece to be published shortly, on all things developmental – also make a note, next DPC meeting is on the 30th June, 9.30am at the J Mack Hall.

    This weekend the ESG received reports about strong gasoil fumes behind Westview Park – further investigation confirmed a small but highly odorous spill of gasoil, which, we were told, would eventually disperse. Question – why weren’t dispersants used? Is it because of its proximity to the water intakes for desalination? Or Because of the proximity of the spill to the bathing pavilion? Whatever the reasons, fumes pervaded in the port area much of the day, a good, hot weather day, when people would be out and about. It underlines how impacts from industry, however, small, can impact on nearby residential and recreational areas. Just for info, you can report smells, spills, fumes etc: to either the Environmental Agency, outside office hours, via 200-72500, and during office hours at: 200-70620, OR, to the Environmental Enforcement on call at 58009620. These numbers will also appear on our website which is esg-gib.net.

    The ESG also had an opportunity to meet with the Petitions Committee Commissioner who was very interested to hear about the work undertaken by the our group supported by Hassan’s International, and specifically David Dumas QC who also attended the meeting. We covered our long-standing complaints and petitions to the EC regarding the CEPSA Refinery and other polluting industry, as well as the history and present situation at Western Beach. The Commissioner urged us to pursue these issues further with the EC once again, whom, she advised, was much more proactive and effective on health and environmental issues than they have been in the past. We shall take up her advice and look forward to her support in our future actions.

    The ESG attended the recent Press Conference by the GSD on the Lloyds LNG report. We issued a holding statement and will be issuing our second response shortly hoping that the outcome will be the early publication by Government of their safety and technical studies permitting them to proceed with the new power station project at the location of the North Mole area. Of course EIA considerations are also still due and could have a bearing on the eventual results. What our group urges most of all, is for the earliest possible completion date of a new, efficient and compliant power station so we can focus on a renewable energy programme which is the sustainable direction we should be taking.

    All this also in a week that sees the head of the Catholic Church promote the need for all Catholics to recognise and take steps regarding climate change. This is good and welcome news for the environment and towards the fight for responsible and sustainable living.

    Official Reporting numbers 180615

    See below numbers to call if you have a problem regarding sewers, litter, smells etc.
    These are official depts. If you need to please also call us at 200-48996 or mobile 54960000 and we shall also try and assist you.

    Technical Services Department

    After Hour Service (duty officer) 56000433 – Infrastructure and Sewers Section

    Department of the Environment

    Environmental feedback section 20065964 (office hours)

    Environmental enforcement on call 58009620

    Evironmental Agency

    During Office hours: 200-70620
    Outside office hours the complainant needs to contact the RGP 20072500 and leave his contact details (name, tel no, address). The duty EHO then contacts the person.

    New Cooking Oil Recycling Initiative in Gib! 120615

    This is a very good initiative by Government to provide a more widespread service for the collection of cooking oil in Gibraltar. Hope the public get behind this and use the service properly.

    At the last Litter Committee meeting we raised the need for similar information to be made available regarding the locations used for overnight mobile recycling service. It was agreed that info would be placed at the site itself as well as outside supermarkets to ensure that as many people as possible are informed. We hope to see information in place asap.

    “H.M.Government of Gibraltar’s continued commitment towards sustainable waste management, the Department of the Environment and Climate Change is pleased to announce the expansion of its kerbside recycling scheme to include waste cooking oil.
    The general public will now be able to recycle their waste cooking oil by placing it in a sealed plastic container that can then be deposited into the orange recycling bins.
    It is important that this procedure is followed to ensure that the service operates smoothly.
    There are currently 20 separate locations, listed below.

    1. Edinburgh Estate
    2. Grand Parade entrance
    3. Europort Roundabout
    4. Varyl Begg by Royal Sovereign House
    5. Mid Harbours seafront
    6. Bishop Caruana Road
    7. Catalan Bay (Sir Herbert Miles Road)
    8. Casemates Service Area
    9. Devils Tongue Waterport Road junction
    10. Saluting Battery
    11. Eastern Beach Road
    12. Waterport Terraces
    13. Constitution House
    14. Fish Market Road
    15. Queensway Car Park
    16. Willis’s Road (New Police Block)
    17. Tarik Road Car Park
    18. Cloister Ramp
    19. Rosia Road by Rosia Battery
    20. Rosia Road by RGP Headquarters

    This kerbside service will operate in addition to the current collection of used cooking oil at the Gibraltar Civic Amenities Site on Europa Advanced Road.
    In addition to the recycling points provided, the Government will also be collecting used cooking oil produced by the GHA Kitchen and canteen, Mount Alvernia and other Care Agency Kitchens.
    The public is encouraged to use the orange bins and help prevent the disposal of used cooking oil in drains and sewers, which lead to blockages resulting in bursts and overflows, and will be helping to care for our marine environment.

    ESG reacts to Lloyds Report on use of LNG 10th June 2015

    The ESG attended today’s press conference organised by the GSD where the Lloyds LNG Report on the Power Station, location and related bunkering activity was delivered. While still digesting the report, the ESG considers the key findings by Lloyds, of this project at this location, which it deems will create unacceptably high levels of risk to the community, to be of great concern.

    The group has called upon Government for factual and technical reports to be published on the use of LNG in the new power station since its decision to use LNG was announced. The ESG hopes that the Lloyds report will prompt Government to now issue its own supporting safety documentation which has allowed it to proceed thus far in its plan

    Press Release re Nature Plant Pay-out 10th June 2015

    The ESG would like to add its voice to welcoming, finally, the financial settlement to the family, of the contract worker who tragically lost his life after an accident at the Nature Port Sullage Plant some years ago.

    This will offer some closure to them and hopefully also draw a line under the industrial incident, which was found in court to have happened due to several counts of Health and Safety breaches by the company in question.

    The group hopes that all industrial activity in Gibraltar will, from now on, undergo the highest level of operational scrutiny by the authorities to avoid any similar accidents from happening again in future. It further hopes that the contract for sullage collection and onward shipment out of Gibraltar with no local treatment will go out to tender so that international companies with a good unblemished record in these activities can offer their services to Gibraltar.

    ESG Radio Newsletter 4th June 2015

    Key Words: Nuclear Subs, LNG, Power Station, World Environment Day, Traffic, and Jellyfish

    Its certainly been a busy few weeks on the environmental front- from nuclear subs to on going press exchanges in the media on the new power station and LNG; we have also seen a few changes underway regarding traffic management measures and heard the Minister for Transport announce on a television party political broadcast that an implementation plan on traffic and transport measures will soon be published. Everyone knows how the trickier aspects of the plan, to target core traffic problems and create real changes on the ground, requires political courage and public support. Lets hope for all our sakes that there will be sufficient quantities of both to move forward with these as fast as possible.

    The ESG continues to raise its concerns directly with Government over the need for more information to be published regarding its full intentions for the new power station and all technical and safety reports supporting its decision.

    Tomorrow sees World Environment Day celebrated in Gibraltar. This years theme is ”Consume with Care” – an ethos very closely tied with Reduce, Reuse Recycle. This mantra is one that we, as a group, have firmly supported via our Clean up the World campaign urging everyone to recycle and to think about their day-to-day actions. Of course with 7 billion of us and counting, individual actions MUST be accompanied by government policies and industry support. It was heartening to hear France’s latest pledge, for instance, confirming that all its supermarket chains have to donate unsold food stocks to charities, for animal feed, or towards energy production. It would no longer allow this precious resource to end up in landfill. Its incredible both that it was going to landfill and that it has taken legislation to change this –still, if that’s what is needed, then all other countries should follow. How about Gibraltar? With more of these common sense measures we could start turning the tide, much needs to be done.

    It is well documented that at the going rate of consumption, three planets will be needed to meet the demands of a fast growing population, believed to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. Our Worlds resources should be shared more equitably, of that there is no doubt – how this can be achieved with our ruthless yet practical capital system of growth is hard to see but many will agree that the World Environment Day 2015 theme of Seven Billion Dreams – One Planet – Consume with Care – makes a lot of sense and should be strived for. Each of us has a role to play too and tomorrow will remind us just how to do this.

    Check out the World Environment Day event at the Piazza tomorrow between 10am and 2pm marking this important date in the environmental calendar. The ESG will have a stall there too.

    Many are already aware of the huge presence of jellyfish in our waters at this time. They have been largely absent in the recent past but may be here to stay for the summer. Do, therefore, watch out, if you need too cool off. Global warming, overfishing and human intervention – especially breakwaters that protect sandy beaches but provide a home for larvae – are all blamed.

    Also, Western beach continues to record regular sewage readings on the bathing water data site operated by the Environmental Agency – so check out before you swim is the sensible motto this summer! Their website is environmental-agency.gi.

    To learn more about the ESG please visit our website at: www.esg-gib.net call us on 200-48996, mobile 54960000 or email us with any enquiry to: esg@gibtelecom.net