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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 28th July 2016

    ESG Radio Newsletter 28th July 2016

    Ship Collisions – Nuclear Subs –  Eco Wave Energy – Global Warming – Litter and Clean up 


    This past week maritime issues have been in the fore with confusing reports of collisions involving chemical carriers, nuclear submarines, oil tankers and other commercial vessel. Of course it is a concern and we have issued a press release that has been published in the local press and is also available to read online on our website if you haven’t caught up with it so far.


    It is bad news when a nuclear submarine is involved in any type of collision and we have called for independent, verifiable information concerning public safety to be made available as soon as possible. We echo concerns in the community that repairs should be carried out in the UK and in purpose built facilities. There has also been an absence of any formal statement by the Port Authority when clearly maritime safety is their primary responsibility. We await clarification on how an oil tanker operated by local businesses and in our waters suffered damage hours after the submarine collision, with oil containment due to the double hull feature now compulsory in all oil carrying vessels – this could have been very different otherwise.


    We say confusion arose because apart from understandable questions being asked locally, articles began appearing in the UK press linking the submarine and Vemaoil Tanker as being involved in the same collision. This was subsequently changed and information provided in the local media clarifying what appears to have happened in the two separate accidents. We still await a formal statement and explanation to be given by the Port Authority on what happened with the Vemaoil Collision? Was the VTS, vessel tracking system up and running?


    This week the ESG, together with the GONHS visited the Eco Wave Plant pilot project. It was very interesting to see the units up close and understand the challenges and aims behind this new technology for Gibraltar. We wish it every success and thank the Dept. of Environment and GibElec for making the visit possible.


    As the warm weather persists you can’t help but think about global warming and the need for continued short and long term action to be taken by all. In these days of political uncertainty and as has been previously mentioned in one of our newsletters, we commend the present Govt and Minister for the Environment for pledging to continue to support all EU Env legislation working towards environmental protection and climate change goals. With the UK and USA undergoing major political changes themselves it is sincerely hoped that sense will prevail and that existing climate change policies, so hard fought for, will survive and even be strengthened going forward.



    Enjoy your summer- respect the environment and please use the litter bins – reminder Clean up is held on the 24th September and you are welcome to sign up just drop us an email at esg@gibtelecom.net. Go to esg-gib.net, that’s our website, for more information.


    Maritime Accidents- Investigations needed 260716

    ESG Press Release

    Maritime Accidents –Investigations Needed

    26th July 2016

    There has been some confusion in recent days with the emergence of two separate maritime accidents linked to our port, which demands more clarity and information on how these, in fact, could have happened.

    Wednesday saw HMS Ambush, a nuclear powered submarine collide with a chemical carrier, which mercifully retained full integrity with no known spills into the sea. The submarine, we are also told, sustained external damage only with no impact on its nuclear reactor.

    This is however pending a full check-over by the relevant experts and it is hoped that technical reports will confirm the initial assessment with information being made available to the public.

    Another incident, this time on the Thursday night, involved a collision between Vemaoil XIII and another commercial vessel with the oil carrier sustaining a large gash on the exterior hull. Thankfully, legislation demands that vessels are now double hulled thus eliminating otherwise potentially large volumes of polluting cargo to enter the marine environment.

    While luck may have prevailed this time round in minimising the impacts from these collisions on the natural environment, questions must be asked as to how these accidents occurred in the first place. There must also be a review of all monitoring systems in place as well as of the information sharing processes between civilian and military port activity.


    Two accidents in one week is alarming and demands a full and open investigation and reassurances given to the public that the growing levels of maritime activity in the area can be managed safely.



    On Brexit and the Environment 7th July 2016


    “ESG welcomes the announcement by the Minister for the Environment that his Government will continue to endorse and apply EU environmental legislation despite the Brexit result.


    We strongly believe that our quality of life and a healthy environment require tight environmental controls and we have always advocated for “higher than EU standards” given our small footprint and therefore greater susceptibility to polluting activity. On this the Environment Minister also declared support in Parliament.


    We further believe that our local environmental laws and EAMP (Environmental Action and Management Plan) must step up to the challenge and become reliable and effective tools in helping Gibraltar manage the many conflicting activities which exist in our community today.


    We would like to see greater and accelerated use of sustainable power generation, such as the eco wave project, underwater turbines, solar and other technologies as these are even more relevant in a potentially tight economy, and a probable exit in the next few years.


    We also call upon Government to urgently finalise plans for the Sewage Treatment Plant and for clear confirmation that the new Power Station will incorporate best available technology as pledged during the EIA assessment for this project last year.


    Finally, we offer any help possible in working with Government and the environmental lobby in Gibraltar to ensure that with or without Brexit we continue to address local, and cross border environmental issues.”