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  • Radio Broadcast 13.02.2020

    In our second 2020 broadcast we have great expectations from a fresh government and highly environmental manifesto – that has aspiration to deliver a Child Friendly and Green City. We share this vision, of course, and want to see measures to achieve this in place as fast as possible. We are now seeking and holding meetings with Government in various areas to ascertain their plan of action. This week we held a lengthy and productive meeting with several of our committee members and the Minister for the Environment and his team and ran through all our objectives. We will continue to monitor issues until such time as we see these fully addressed. You can find our Core List of Objectives at the home page of our website at  : www.esg-gib.net

    Later this month we meet with the Minister for Transport. Following a lengthy understanding with the previous Minister Paul Balban, the ESG looks ahead to re-establish contact on these issues with Minister Daryanani on Traffic and Transport matters to address Gibraltar’s most pressing issues in these areas. This topic is huge – we will talk about cleaner technology, about the need for urgent and decisive action, about cross border vehicles and the construction industry contribution, and enforcement measures to tackle worst offenders.  The Govt STTP  “Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan” produced after wide consultation and preparation has within it a number of bold measures which, if applied, could bring about changes that many seek.

    We are hopeful that reports explaining Government’s plan of action in every sector to co-deliver a Child Friendly and Green city will be released soon.

    Just some info for those of you interested. Following positive feedback from our 1st 5G debate we are currently exploring a follow up and will also be participating in a dedicated Viewpoint Programme on this topic very soon!

    Now we are out of Europe politically speaking, it raises big concerns for us. One of our key targets since we started in the year 2000 was cleaning up the petrochemical industry across the border, namely CEPSA. We had representation in the EU Parliament, legislation that even the EU could not argue was being flagrantly ignored, despite strong Spanish lobbying,  we managed to get the spotlight all the way from Brussels on to this huge industry, saw audits undertaken and measures introduced to drag it up a few notches into a measurably cleaner operation.  This loss of redress deeply concerns us. We shall be studying our Environmental MOU’s to see how we can protect ourselves and the environment from transgressions caused by our neighbours.

    Yesterday saw heavy emissions from a chimney at this plant blow across Puente Mayorga and towards La Linea. It appeared to have lasted a considerable time with Verdemar complaining late last night about the heavy smoke blowing while people slept. They talked about sulphurous fumes.

    The ESG detected strong chemical smells in the south district, that our local authorities thought could possibly be linked to the smoky emissions in Spain. The smells in Gibraltar were very much like you find close to the Refinery itself, a sweet and sickly smell.  During our Bucket sampling days we learnt to distinguish between chemical smells and yesterday gave us reason to believe the fumes were solvent based VOC (volatile organic compounds).

    We hope there won’t be any repetition of these fumes but should this happen it may be time for us to revive our bucket sampler and grab an air sample!

    Thanks for listening –