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  • Fumes from Bunkering Barges

    While fumes from bunkering activities have thankfully lessened over the last 12 months, recent events have prompted the ESG to publicly state its concerns once again.

    After having received complaints from various members of the public on the 9th and 10th July, and having investigated the issue, we found that the preferred practice of berthing barges at the detached mole had been inexplicably reversed with barges berthing once again at the Extension Jetty, close to densely populated residential areas.

    Searing temperatures during hot summer months can cause any fuel to quickly vaporise, often resulting in foul smells throughout neighbourhoods such as Varyl Begg, EuroPlaza and Westview Park.

    The ESG received calls from these areas with complaints of nausea, and concerns over the source and impact of the foul smells. The group directed the callers to lodge a complaint with the Environmental Agency whose environmental monitors are accessible after hours via the police station. The ESG also contacted the agency in writing about these complaints and was advised that a follow up had been carried out and recommendations made to the Port by the agency on its findings.

    This situation has also brought to light the difficulty, at times, in reaching those within the port with responsibility to address these intolerable situations as they arise. It further raises the need for investment by the bunkering industry into technologies like vapour recovery to prevent any fumes from escaping into the atmosphere.

    The ESG calls upon Government to review this situation and ensure that it’s publicly stated preferred policy: to remove bunkering barges from the extension jetty is upheld.