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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 27th April 2017

     Keywords:  CUTW / Dockyard and Air, Noise Pollution and ISO / New Premises /  Britain 24hrs without burning coal / Gibraltar Renewable Energy Programme

    The ESG has been busy these past few weeks working on a number of key issues. Some of this relates to CUTW and preparations for Septembers annual event. We are setting up a number of mtgs with key participants and organising workshops that will run through the summer – should prove to be a busy but rewarding time that will help spread environmental awareness and engage the community in a campaign that now spans 12 years on the Rock. Send your interest to support and or take part to esg@gibtelecom.net. Global media has highlighted the plight of plastic waste in our environment. It is a major problem that seems to point evermore towards enforcement and a manufacturing solution. We can ban the bag but what about industrial plastics and all other grades of plastics???

    This week we have released a Press Release on excessive noise from the Dockyard, which is a very busy hub in Gibraltar right now, explaining how concerned we are as to how such an activity can qualify for environmental accreditation while impacting as heavily as it does on surroundings neighbourhoods. As an active NGO, that has periodically felt necessary to speak out, on behalf of those suffering its impacts, we would have wanted to have had an opportunity to participate in the process of any such accreditation, which forms part of the ISO assessment framework, alongside regulators, communities etc. We’ll be taking this forward in hope that operational impacts from the Dockyard can be mitigated further with the use of available technologies.

    After many years the ESG is now thankful to have been awarded centrally based premises that are currently being set up and formally opened this summer. We have been busy moving our gear and are grateful to all those who have lent a much needed hand. The ESG will be seeking donations to help resource the new base. More news on this soon.

    It was very heartening to hear that last Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity, described by officials and climate change activists as a watershed moment. Similar news of how wind power is becoming ever more efficient and important as a growing part of power generation, both in the UK and around Europe, is also good news.

    Here in Gibraltar we remain optimistic that renewable energy will also form a greater role in our power generation and we continue to work and lobby for this outcome.

    Please visit our website at esg-gib.net for more information. Thanks for listening.

    ESG GibDock ISO and Noise 26th April 2017

    Press Release 25th April 2017

    GibDock and ISO recognition


    The ESG has recently been receiving calls from residents affected by noise pollution from the GibDock facility. On further investigation the group understands that Government and the Environmental Agency are onto this issue in efforts to bring such activity under control, especially at night.


    However, last weekend drew further calls from residents and it appears the activity and problem continues: of excessive noise levels from GibDock keeping people awake at night.


    The group was incredulous to learn, a few days ago, that this same company has only this month been accredited with ISO14001: 2015 for “Quality and Environmental recognition”. Naturally any efforts in improving any work or industrial practice is welcomed but an honest environmental audit into the dockyard activity and impact would have confirmed that noise and air pollution levels can be onerous and carry heavy environmental consequences for neighbouring areas.


    The group will be contacting Lloyds Register and Mabbett, involved in this ISO compliance assessment for GibDock, to check precisely what has been assessed and specifically whether it has examined the impacts from noise and other nuisance which the company continues to cause in the vicinity. We shall also ask with whom they have spoken outside of GibDock to ensure they are producing accurate and verifiable assessments.


    Given the close proximity of residents to GibDock the nature and timing of works carried out by the company must be very carefully managed. Major works should be prohibited at night and all vessels in for servicing must be able to connect to onshore power to eliminate noise and air pollution from running of engines at berth. Best available technology and practice under ISO should also, in our view, direct the facility to limit pollutants, from sand blasting and the painting of vessels and hulls, from crossing the fence line and entering adjacent neighbourhoods.


    If Lloyds and Mabbett have not assessed these core functionalities of the dockyard in terms of environmental impact under ISO, then improved waste segregation and use of LED lighting and solar panels stated in the media, welcome though they are, as a gauge of the company’s environmental impacts, is merely window dressing.


    The ESG has approached GibDock in the past on noise and air pollution with no response from the company and will continue to monitor this issue closely.


    (See full article re ISO compliance here:

    Gibdock secures Quality and Environmental recognition

    ESG Radio Newsletter 13/04/17

    ESG Radio Newsletter 13th April 2017   There have been a few developments in some of our key campaigns we would like to share with you today.


    You may have heard us talk about our new Wish List in the past, recently renamed as our List of Objectives. We have now finalised our 2017 paper and will be presenting this to Ministers and Opposition MPs in the coming weeks. The document will also be published on our website shortly.


    We have just received confirmation directly from the European Commission that infringement proceedings against Spain, on the breaking of EU law in respect of illegal sewage discharge at various points around the Bay, including from La Linea into Western Beach waters, have now started against the Spanish Authorities.

    It appears that after 7 years of campaigning and lobbying, of calling upon our MEPs to place pressure in Brussels, and more recently of action taken by the Gibraltar Government, we are finally starting to close the circle and see decisive action from the Commission.


    Still, during these long campaigns, and in the last year or so, the combined pressure has resulted in a reduction in the volume of sewage discharged into Western beach waters and this is a positive outcome for sure. Pollution levels are still of concern though and relatively consistent meaning that further work must be done to eliminate this altogether. Visit environmental agency.gi, go to monitoring, and then click on bathing water for details on the state of waters at all beaches for more information.


    It’s important that the health of Western Beach waters is restored to its pre 2010 conditions and we shall continue to fight for this final outcome. We are in touch with our legal advisers, co-petitioners, and the Gibraltar office in Brussels and are currently preparing a follow up to this latest official response. We shall also contact our MEPs for assistance. The commission have also informed us of advanced plans to take action against the UK on Gibraltar’s lack of sewage treatment facility, which we sincerely hope will be addressed and actioned during 2017.


    The big news this week is the launch of the STTP, or the Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan. It’s a comprehensive set of documents that require time to appraise its contents and the ESG is in the process of doing just that. Committee members met with Minister Balban and Cortes and staff in the run up to the launch and placed several questions and concerns, which were discussed at some length at the meeting. The issue for us now is to establish how well the new plan addresses key ESG concerns and where we shall need to continue to direct our efforts. We recognise and welcome the hard work carried out by Minister Balban and all supporting staff to finalise this very important plan that aims to calm Gibraltar’s streets and help reduce air and noise pollution.


    We shall shortly be releasing a statement on best available technology and the new Power station as we have held a number of meetings with Govt technical advisers and exchanged correspondence, and as many know, is an issue we have been very vocal on. An update will be published soon.


    We also want to confirm that Clean up the World Campaign will this year take place on Saturday 23rd September. With plans for workshops and preparations for an awareness parade soon to get underway look out for details on our website and in the local press. Last week saw a few volunteers from the ESG and the Gibraltar Heritage Trust together clear a beautiful green area, smothered in plastic and take away waste, where we filled close to 30 sacks in just under 2 hours! Our litter problems in nature spots continue -especially in certain hotspots – and the need for our Clean up, and awareness of these issues, as important as ever. Please help and get involved. Email to volunteer at: esg@gibtelecom.net. Check out our website for more news at esg-gib.net.



    Thanks for listening!

    ESG welcomes STTP Launch 12/04/17

    The Environmental Safety Group would like to publicly welcome the launch of the STTP (Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan), a measure long campaigned for by the group.


    The group is now taking time to digest the full contents of the comprehensive Plan and will produce a fuller and more detailed response on how the plan is meeting measures called for by the ESG to address traffic issues, and the growing impact this is having on the environment in Gibraltar.