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  • ESG update on European Commission Refinery Campaign

    The ESG has submitted 5 major files with the European Commission, via the Legal Directorate since 2002. (There have been other updates in between too). It has done this with the sustained support and guidance from Hassan’s Law Firm and by David Dumas QC and James Levy in particular.

    The ESG and technical and legal advisors have also made 2 trips to the European Commission. More recently the ESG and legal advisors together with Professor Benach met with European Commissioner, Mr Stavros Dimas in February 2006. He heard our concerns and received a power point presentation and pledged to help as he was able to. The meeting had been organised by MEP Neil Parish.

    The present situation, as at May 2007, is that the European Commission continues to advise that in their opinion the charge we are making of non-compliance to European Environmental Standards is not one they can support due to the information submitted to them by Spain as a member state.

    We are therefore continuing to press for an EU inspection to be done to verify that important upcoming IPPC legislation and permits to be issued on the 1st November 2007 will be complied with in a manner that provides adequate safety and healthy environmental standards for worst affected communities and also for the wider regional and cross border environment- (and not simply to take Spain’s word for it).

    The following campaign aims by the ESG have been registered with the European Commission:-

    -Continuous monitoring of population centres near installations
    -Introduce a complete ban on flaring as a means to burn off waste gases
    -Make monitoring at source mandatory for industries located close or in residential areas
    – No pollution to be detected beyond the fence line
    -Independent verification and calibration of equipment
    – Application of BAT to industry
    – Epidemiological Studies to be done to assess health of communities
    – Environmental overload in area – freeze and rollback of industrial expansion in favour of cleaner and more sustainable industry in the Bay (including Gibraltar)
    – Full implementation of all EU directives relevant to monitoring of pollution and for these to be evaluated regularly and reduced wherever possible
    -To remove the Cadiz province from having the highest mortality rate in all of the Iberian Peninsula

    Current actions towards these aims:-
    A petition of 13,500 signatures has been submitted (14th May 2007) to the Gibraltar Government as well as to La Junta by the cross border group, Plataforma por El Estudio Epidemiologico. The petition will also be handed to MEP Neil Parish at the end of May. Mr Parish is already lobbying for Gibraltar in this respect in Brussels and will use this petition effectively.
    Technical Report:-
    To add to this we shall shortly be publishing a technical assessment made by ESG advisor Denny Larson, Global Community Monitor and leader of Bucket Brigades which will support the on going campaign enormously.