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  • La Linea highest pollution levels claims the WHO 09/05/14

     La Linea Pollution and WHO Report

    Key terms:-   Pollution, Industry, Health reports, Gib  Monitoring, Environmental Agency

    “The ESG wishes to react to the WHO report claiming La Linea has the worst air quality in all of Spain. The industrial base located in the centre of the Bay has been producing lethal levels of toxic emissions for over forty years so it can be no surprise that background levels of air quality in La Linea are extremely poor. The ESG has campaigned at EC level for many years against the harmful emissions from the petrochemical industry precisely because of the heavy impact these can have on health and on the living environment. A number of the large industries located in the Bay have enjoyed protection from complying with modern environmental legislation due to a legal loophole known as the Grandfather Clause. However, this is now over but it is clear that pollution levels continue to be very high.


    In the meantime there have been a growing number of reports produced by Spanish Health authorities and Universities confirming the strong links between health and mortality, and chronic, chemical pollution exposure. While there have been some improvements in the pollution levels from the refinery and other plants, these dirty, chemical giants will always produce harmful emissions especially when allowed to operate past their sell by date. One asks if the World Health Organisation report will achieve any change in the status quo and long-term inaction?


    The report also raises important questions for Gibraltar:-


    If La Linea is registering such dire levels, should we not explore our own air quality near the border area? We presently have real-time monitors in Rosia Road, Witham’s’ and at Bleak House. The ESG has called for an additional real-time monitor to be placed in the northwestern region of Gibraltar given the increase in the residential spread and growth of industry. It also happens to be the closest zone to both La Linea and to the Oil Refinery and associated industry in San Roque.


    The ESG also hopes the Gibraltar Air Quality website (gibraltarairquality.gi) will soon provide real-time information on PM 2.5’s and additional information on PM 10’s produced from power station emissions and traffic fumes, given the impact these are known to have on our health. “


    Report from Environmental Agency – GIB LEVELS ‘NOT MAJOR PROBLEM’

    Air quality in Gibraltar is not considered a “massive problem” with levels of pollution being within “normal ranges”, said the Environmental Agency.

    However, the main issue we do have relates to emissions from the generating stations, something that will reduce considerably when the new generating stations are fired up. 

The Environmental Agency has various monitoring stations around Gibraltar, which perform continuous sampling of the air, and passive readings are performed once a month. These readings are sent to the UK for analysis.)