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  • Bay Bucket Brigade

    Denny Larson in Gibraltar, Picture © Jim Watt, 2003
    Denny Larsen introduces
    The Bucket Brigade

    The  low cost air sampling device
    Star of the show – The Bucket
    a practical low cost air sampling
    system for the people.

    Flaring at the Spanish Refinery
    The Emissions from the nearby
    Refinery – One of the reasons
    why we need air sampling.

    Listen to Mr Larson talking about Gibraltar on GBC Television
    Audio © Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation, 2003

    Click on the icon to listen

    to Mr Denny Larson

    being interviewed by GBC

    Format: Real Audio 16kbs.

    The ESG Press Release
    and Technical background

    The New Bucket Brigade website


    Toxic Truth


    The Bucket Brigade website

    The ESG and many others have had a very successful introduction to the Bucket Brigade Programme. The founder, Denny Larson, has left Gibraltar having spent an intensive 36 hour period orienteering and consulting with the group. This included a land and sea borne “toxic tour” as well as extensive consultations with ESG members and a public meeting for an in-depth and very accomplished presentation by Mr Larson on the Bucket Brigade story. The purpose behind Mr Larson’s visit was to establish the nature and extent of our local environmental problems associated with the industrial base and other pollution sources in our Bay.

    The public meeting was extremely well attended and enthusiasm and hope clearly expressed by many as Mr Larson competently showed us how citizen empowerment can actually enforce changes and improvements that can miraculously be instigated at short notice by giant industries, when independent data is presented and made public. The bucket brigade sampling method has enabled this to happen in other communities. What was also clear was the concern but not surprise expressed by the audience to hear that Mr Larson considered the CEPSA refinery to be operating at very sub-standard levels. He went as far as to compare the visible pollution here to refineries operating in developing countries and maintained that this was among the “worst he had ever seen”!! Opinions that many of us have inherently felt but have not had the experience or knowledge to know for certain.

    Mr Larson is setting up bucket brigade programmes in communities in Scotland and North England and Gibraltar could be included in this training schedule. It is a golden opportunity for Gibraltar and the citizens in the Campo area to challenge the badly regulated industries and to place pressure for technological improvements to be made urgently. Mr Larson has shown us that this pollution is unnecessary and controllable. His visit, therefore, must be met with support and enthusiasm from communities on both sides of the border. We no longer have to wait for lengthy and expensive epidemiological surveys to be done and completed, to verify what people already suspect:

    That too many incidences of cancer, asthma, cardiovascular and thyroid problems, leukaemias, and other illnesses exist within communities living alongside petrochemical installations. More importantly that the affected communities do not need to wait in silence while these studies may or may not be done.

    What was also important about Mr Larson’s future contribution is that he offers not only an affordable sampling facility that is reliable, but also has the expertise and knowledge to identify technological weaknesses in refineries and is familiar with the technologies available and used by responsible companies to substantively reduce pollution. The air quality sampling programme we will follow will be set out by Mr Larson.

    Denny Larson, we sincerely hope, will become a friend and well-known figure in Gibraltar and the Campo region. His written assessment for a working programme will be received within a couple of weeks. The ESG will then co-ordinate a second public meeting to establish a working group who can take Mr Larson’s recommendations forward and together fundraise and collect data as directed.

    The ESG sees many applications for the data, which has long been awaited. The Complaint to the EU for example, will benefit greatly from hard evidence as well as direct approaches to management and shareholders within the CEPSA petrochemical industry. It will be important to involve Spanish participation although this may be easier to do once the groundwork is established. The message that the effort behind the bucket brigade is not to “threaten jobs and economies but to insist upon best operating practises by all companies”, is vital to get across to all communities in the Bay.

    Only this will ensure our health and protection for generations to come.


    Benzene Directive (English)
    Benzene Directive (Spanish)
    ESG Air Spanish Chemicals Table
    Final Version Table on Sample SP 004
    List of Chemicals Identified in Sample SP 004
    OEM 2004 Mortality Study
    Press Cuttings for Summary
    Summary Explanation for Sample Table (Spanish)
    Summary Explanation for Sample Table
    Thumbprints for Summary of Sample Report

    Bucket Brigade Part 2