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  • Open letter about bunkering pollution

    Public letter to Minister Holliday
    Wednesday 29th March 2006

    Dear Sir,

    The ESG and GONHS welcome your statement in the House last week on noxious smells from bunkering activity, acknowledging the problem that we and others in the community have been raising for some time. These “smells” contain hydrogen sulphide and benzene among other chemicals. Recent studies conclude that long term exposure to these chemicals even in low concentrations can cause serious health problems.

    Your statement claimed that at all times emissions have been within the law. Could we have publication of the monitoring data which supports this statement for hydrogen sulphide in particular, given that our air monitoring station does not include this chemical as a pollutant?

    This matter is of particular relevance given that on the 17th and 25th March the ESG received many complaints and reports of gas smells both in the South and town areas. The 25th was 3 days after your statement at the House whereby you claimed that measures had been set in place to sort the problem out and that you believed it was now resolved.

    We reiterate our concerns that these fumes are potentially harmful and that your Government has to ensure that the best available technology is applied to control and minimise these from recurring.

    Given the continuation of these noxious fumes affecting our residential areas, the ESG and GONHS ask the Minister: Are other preventative measures being considered?

    Due to the public importance of this matter we are copying this letter to the media.


    Environmental Safety Group and the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society