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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 180615

    Key Words: World Environment Day, Oil Recycling, Nature, DPC, Gasoil fumes, CEPSA, Western Beach and the Petitions Committee Commissioner, LNG Reports, The Pope and Climate Change

    The recent World Environment Day event registered growing activity within our society towards greener practices, such as hybrid vehicles, solar technology, marine monitoring, mobile recycling services, and the ESG had a stand highlighting local and regional environmental issues of concern to raise awareness.

    We have published a list of the new oil recycling facility on our website as these orange bins are now permanently at their locations. Please remember to dispose of your used oil in tightly sealed plastic containers. Another service underway is the mobile recycling facility. Although very welcome this requires better information to be made available to the community, as at present, there is none, and its difficult for residents to guess when the bins may appear in their neighbourhood again. One idea we hope will be translated into action will be posting a list with such info at the main supermarkets and, at the sites they will be placed in. These are good measures and are welcomed by the ESG.

    Also welcomed was closure on the accident at the Nature Plant which resulted in the loss of the life of a contract worker. See our website for our statement on this. We have also seen a busy time at the DPC with more projects going through – look out for an opinion piece to be published shortly, on all things developmental – also make a note, next DPC meeting is on the 30th June, 9.30am at the J Mack Hall.

    This weekend the ESG received reports about strong gasoil fumes behind Westview Park – further investigation confirmed a small but highly odorous spill of gasoil, which, we were told, would eventually disperse. Question – why weren’t dispersants used? Is it because of its proximity to the water intakes for desalination? Or Because of the proximity of the spill to the bathing pavilion? Whatever the reasons, fumes pervaded in the port area much of the day, a good, hot weather day, when people would be out and about. It underlines how impacts from industry, however, small, can impact on nearby residential and recreational areas. Just for info, you can report smells, spills, fumes etc: to either the Environmental Agency, outside office hours, via 200-72500, and during office hours at: 200-70620, OR, to the Environmental Enforcement on call at 58009620. These numbers will also appear on our website which is esg-gib.net.

    The ESG also had an opportunity to meet with the Petitions Committee Commissioner who was very interested to hear about the work undertaken by the our group supported by Hassan’s International, and specifically David Dumas QC who also attended the meeting. We covered our long-standing complaints and petitions to the EC regarding the CEPSA Refinery and other polluting industry, as well as the history and present situation at Western Beach. The Commissioner urged us to pursue these issues further with the EC once again, whom, she advised, was much more proactive and effective on health and environmental issues than they have been in the past. We shall take up her advice and look forward to her support in our future actions.

    The ESG attended the recent Press Conference by the GSD on the Lloyds LNG report. We issued a holding statement and will be issuing our second response shortly hoping that the outcome will be the early publication by Government of their safety and technical studies permitting them to proceed with the new power station project at the location of the North Mole area. Of course EIA considerations are also still due and could have a bearing on the eventual results. What our group urges most of all, is for the earliest possible completion date of a new, efficient and compliant power station so we can focus on a renewable energy programme which is the sustainable direction we should be taking.

    All this also in a week that sees the head of the Catholic Church promote the need for all Catholics to recognise and take steps regarding climate change. This is good and welcome news for the environment and towards the fight for responsible and sustainable living.