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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 170817

    ESG Radio Newsletter 17th August 2017


    Hi. Today we would like to focus on the upcoming Clean up the World, taking place in Gibraltar on the 23rd September. This will be the 13th annual event we have organised though there have been many many more spot cleans ups done by volunteers over the years also. You will be able to download a Clean up 2017 poster from our website shortly, details will follow.


    This campaign has helped push a number of our objectives on encouraging civic pride – as can be seen by other voluntary efforts on litter, such as the Nautilus Project and others– on improving facilities and enforcement – though its clear that more needs to be done at every level. Obviously we need to be cleaner too and that would prevent a lot of other problems from needing ever more management – be it waste dumping to dog urine, to just day to day careless littering which collectively all adds up to a big problem.


    It is a welcome sight to see the new Marine Litter signs at the beaches produced by the Dept. of Environment. They powerfully convey the impacts that careless littering has on bird and marine life and will hopefully encourage more people to be extra careful with their rubbish.


    This Tuesday 22nd August at 7pm we are calling upon registered team leaders for the 2017 clean up to attend the first planning meeting at ESG premises on No. 12, Wellington Front. A briefing on on-going issues and campaign successes and continued targets will be discussed as well as looking at hotspots and beginning the task of matching teams to sites. We will be contacting team leaders directly also. A second and final planning meeting will be announced for early September.


    Although we were unable to run our energetic and impacting Parade last year we intend to launch this years action with a vibrant display of civic pride in the heart of town showing our community that issues of litter/waste/and our environment matters very much locally too. We expect Schools and CUTW teams to take part in the parade also supported by parents and this time we shall weave our way to our new premises where we will hold a brief event on these issues.


    Please get in touch if you would like to help out in any way or register to clean up a site. Call us on 200-48996 or Mob 54960000, email at esg@gibtelecom.net .


    We would like to issue a reminder that the Development and Planning Commission will be meeting on the 30th August and while the agenda hasn’t yet been published its likely there will be a number of interesting projects being evaluated. Sessions take place at the John Mackintosh Hall as from 9.30am. You can look at all current applications online at:- egov.gi – go to Town Planning – and then applications.


    The ESG has recently issued press releases on south district air pollution which peaked toward end July early August and on recent plans announced by Government regarding doubling parking capacity at the Grand Parade. The group is following up on all these issues with Government.


    You can find out more about our aims and objectives by visiting the ESG website at: ww.esg-gib.net. Our 2017 update will be online shortly. It is a summary and we invite those interested to contact us for any more information on any particular issue. Thanks for listening.

    Grand Parade parking expansion 080817

    The ESG is seeking a mtg with Minister Balban to discuss the ongoing implementation of the STTP (Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan) and raise particular concerns.

    In the meantime, and after Government’s announcement about its plans for an expansion on parking at Grand Parade, the group will also be making representations to Government with our views.

    While clear that additional parking services are required to be made available in the south district – given the various user groups – the ESG is nevertheless very unhappy about the current proposition. Even though it is used as a car park at present, it is still possible to appreciate the open, sweeping nature of Grand Parade enhancing the entrance to the Botanic Gardens and Nature Reserve beyond.


    The ESG will therefore make its views and ideas for alternatives known to Government in the hope that these can be considered.

    South District Air Pollution 030817


    3rd August 2017


    Recent south district air pollution levels have been causing concern among residents. Aside from impacts from background shipping, bunkering and temporarily sited skid generators, two factors could well have exacerbated conditions during the hot and close weather towards the end of July. Strong smells of gas, apparently emanating from across the bay, affected a large section of the south of Gibraltar on the afternoon of the 25th July, and although short-lasting, caused significant concerns. It is hoped that the Gibraltar Government is following up on what could be a transboundary pollution incident of significant effect. The second was a particularly intensive vessel overhaul recently undertaken at the dockyard.

    The ESG came across an online shipping report on the recent completion of a 12-day programme of works on MN Tangara carried out by GibDock, ending in the last week of July. Works were indeed extensive and included multiple tasks carried out in parallel with each other. Among these was painting of a surface area of 12,300m2 (including hull, superstructure, funnel, crane, etc.), pipe and propulsion works, in-situ bonding of stern tube seals, ventilation works, electrical and more besides. This suggests that various industrial processes and materials were used that would have, combined, produced intense, fumes of all types. Such fumes spread rapidly in hot weather and it is no wonder people have felt the full impact as reports indicate.

    Despite the nausea and distress caused when particularly heavy fumes enter homes, the air monitoring stations are still recording legal limits on certain pollutants (as not all stations measure all pollutants). This demonstrates once again how Gibraltar should be raising EU safety thresholds due to the proximity of polluting activity to housing. It is noted that the VOC benzene analyser has been out of action for some time, which needs replacing, especially as large paint contracts are being carried out.

    It is disheartening to note that, despite efforts to address south district pollution via the re-introduction of onshore power connection at the Dockyard, increased monitoring of the site by agencies, and the mothballing of two very polluting power stations, that residents continue to be affected in 2017. It calls for more scrutiny over the nature of works that can be carried out as well as the time of year these can be done in. The placing of hundreds of people right alongside the dockyard has undoubtedly created a difficult and unsustainable situation, which needs to be looked at very carefully. 2017 has been an especially busy year for the dockyard with multiple vessels in for service at any one time. It could be useful for an on call telephone number to be provided by the company so that residents can report issues of excessive noise and air pollution as they are happening. GibDocks recent ISO environmental accreditation should encourage fence line monitoring and community feedback.


    The ESG is also aware of the impacts from pollution in the NW district especially during these hot months and continues to lobby for real-time monitoring to be set up in this zone.


    See link for shipping report referred to in the Press release: