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  • ESG reacts to LNG Reports

    ESG disappointed with LNG documentation

    The ESG committee has now had a first reading of the documents that have been released by GoG on the subject of provision and storage of LNG for our new North Mole power station.

    The main area of our concern, a concern which has been shared by much of the community prior to the release of these documents, has been in regard to the safety implications of this new-for-Gibraltar, high-energy, fuel.

    After reading the documentation supplied, we are even more concerned. This apprehension is based on the following;

    1 The documents do not resemble other safety reports carried out by the same companies for safety assessments in other installations. In fact, Lloyds Register classify their documents as ‘reviews’.
    2 Additional documentation that would clarify some assumptions made and would also better identify the risks are not included in these documents and there is reference to other important investigations that still need to be completed by Shell. .
    3 In the documents supplied by Government there is no inclusion of terrorism as a risk factor, or adequate assessment of external factors affecting the safety of the operation of the storage plant.
    4 Highest risk thresholds can also be questioned, like for example considering that one of the five tanks exploding represents the worst-case-scenario.
    5 Also questionable, without documentation of any appropriate research and assessment, is the dismissal of using the detached mole as a suitable and most distant location because “it is not designed nor built for mooring of large vessels.”. It seems to be adequate for the current siting of a much larger fuel tanker operation, and that is without the benefit of structural improvements.
    6 There is also the unresolved concern expressed by the MoD, of the inadequacy of the aeronautical study on the effect of power station exhaust plumes on flights from Gibraltar Airport.
    7 Clearly, the analysis of the safety aspect is not over and therefore it is presumptuous at this point to classify the overall project as being ‘SAFE’ and also incorrect to assume, with the documentation available, that it is the safest possible LNG installation for Gibraltar

    These and other issues will be raised by the ESG via the EIA and at the DPC.
    Government as landlord has already awarded a contract to Shell in advance of any presentation given to, and approval gained from, the DPC. This approval would need to satisfy all the planning and EIA requirements.

    Clearly there is the pressure of time and the ESG is well aware of our desperate power station requirements but such a project deserves the highest possible transparency, scrutiny and debate and we’re falling short on these.

    ESG Radio Newsletter 151015

    ESG Radio Newsletter 151015
    Key words: Eplanning and Planning system/ Town Act/ ESG Wish List/ March for Climate Change


    Lots going on locally and globally, regarding our environment.

    If you, like us, are interested and concerned about planning issues in Gibraltar then news that the planning system has now gone online should be widely welcomed. Information is always key in these matters and clearly placing detailed info online for ALL to see is a major and positive step forward.

    This follows closely on from the revision of the Town Act, itself bringing about a number of key changes in planning practices and so it is expected that further cohesion will be required to ensure that all new measures approved in the revised Town Act will be fully incorporated in the new eplanning service. It will escape no-one’s attention that the digitisation of the planning process will bring about huge benefits for industry, the public and for the environment too. Just think about the savings on paper alone and time saved also in the duplication and manual sharing of plans etc. Objections can be made online, but will also be accepted in hard copy within time limits at the Town Planning offices.

    The ESG has called for eplanning for a few years now to meet the glaring issues exposed via the more public planning process. We therefore welcome its arrival and note that all new applications will, as of today, require to be presented online. You can register to access information and see data held onsite by going to egov.gi and clicking on the Planning icon. ESG congratulates all concerned and hopes that resources will be sustained to the planning department to develop and fine tune the online service while it navigates through the early stages of public use.

    The ESG is now also fine tuning our wish list, updated in March of this year, is now undergoing scrutiny by the committee before its launch at the beginning of next week. We have campaigned openly and publicly for several core issues affecting our environment since the 2003 elections. Although we have made a lot of progress as a community regarding our environmental management, we are still some way off meeting charter obligations and targets and we shall be lobbying for speedier conclusion of a number of fundamental areas that will form part of our election wish list 2015.

    You will find this published on our website at esg-gib.net

    Finally, many will be aware of the news of the Paris summit regarding critical climate change agreements coming up at the end of November this year. Globally communities are being invited to support a worldwide climate march during the summit and the ESG is hoping to organise one here. Some may remember our 350 event at Eastern Beach which was broadcast around the world showing Gibraltar up there standing shoulder to shoulder with communities from every corner of the globe calling for the right action from world leaders. Climate Change is a global responsibility. Lets do our part too. Date is the 29th November. Preparations will start soon.

    Get in touch if you wish to take part or help in any way. Call: 54960000 or 58009259 – email: esg@gibtelecom.net

    Dolphin Deaths in Spain PR 071015

    ESG concerned about number of dolphin deaths on Spanish beaches

    “The ESG is concerned to see a growing number of reports made in various media outlets this week about sightings of dead dolphins and turtle appearing at different parts of the Spanish coastline. (Murcia, Tarifa, La Linea).

    The group hopes that the Gibraltar Government is looking at this situation and unusually high mortalities, and liaising with all marine conservationist groups throughout the Bay to establish possible causes. The ESG has not seen or heard about any such sightings on Gibraltar shores but asks the public to be vigilant and report any information that could be of help.”


    ESG on LNG Safety Reports – 1st October 2015

    ESG Press Release on LNG
    1st October 2015

    On the 14th of August, the ESG met with the Government to advise them of our concerns regarding the power station and the LNG situation and also regarding the more general community concerns on the non-availability of the promised safety reports. We were assured at that meeting, that our specific recommendations for best available technology (BAT) would be researched and implemented and would be included as a condition on any approval by the DPC. We were also assured that the safety reports were imminent – no more than two weeks away.

    It is now 7 weeks since that meeting and the community is no nearer an understanding of the safety implications of LNG as a fuel and they can be forgiven for believing that their concerns are being ignored.

    Until we can see that an independent and respected agency has issued a safety report that describes the LNG project as acceptable, the ESG, and the community in general, has to assume that the project is too ambitious and too close to residential areas, to be given the green light.
    A smaller operation that catered only for our power station requirements (no bunkering possibilities) and was situated at the detached mole, would probably find it easier to obtain approval with the report-writers and also with the community and certainly with environmentalists.

    With an election also imminent, the safety reports need to be aired in full so that this super-critical community project is transparent and the electorate informed.

    We need to know.

    Please contact Tom Scott at 58009259 for further info


    ESG Post Clean up
    28th September 2015

    This weekend’s clean up was once again a great effort by hundreds of volunteers who took part.

    Organisers wish to thank those who gave time and energy and all partners and supporters who in some way made the day effective and a great success. Around twenty trucks of rubbish from different corners of the Rock and, at sea, made their way back to the Transfer Site at Europa Advance Road on what turned out to be a very hot day increasing the challenge for our volunteers considerably! While the volumes of waste have reduced over time, the effort in extracting the litter that is out there by the teams continues to be energetic, determined and a clear display of civic pride and respect for our environment.

    Many sites were transformed with teams recovering waste from, at times, sites that had seen a thorough clean only last year. The weekend action places the spotlight on on-going hotspots and neglected areas and organisers will ensure the information gained will be highlighted at every level.

    The team spirit and sense of satisfaction evident from participants was clear and awareness was raised on little known corners of Gibraltar which received attention from our hardworking teams. This year saw efforts in new directions including open water clean up, and litter lifted from the Europa Foreshore, which is now a Reserve.

    The Clean Up works because it engages members from all sectors of our community – from the younger generations via schools, youth clubs and associations, as well as the wider public via businesses, Govt agencies and NGOs.

    Each time the messages are getting out: too much litter in our small town; people need to take much better care with their rubbish; much of our lightweight waste becomes fly borne entering marine ecosystems causing havoc with marine life; facilities need to be improved; dumpers need to be fined; ultimately that we all have to take some responsibility.

    It is “Our Place, Our Planet and Our Responsibility” after all.

    A detailed report with images from teams covering the widespread action is now being compiled and will be published shortly.