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    The ESG would like to advise that they have made particular observations of the heavy pollution from the industrial base in Spain over the last week. It is also clear that as temperatures soar and the air becomes thick with fumes from our own traffic and power stations that conditions are getting better suited for bucket sampling. Indeed some trial runs have already begun.

    With regards to the Spanish side the ESG states that last Monday the Consejeria de Medioambiente was issuing advise in certain areas close to the refinery that the sick, pregnant, young and elderly, i.e. the most vulnerable, should not physically exert themselves during a time that levels of sulphur dioxide were measured at double the maximum permissible levels at one of their monitoring stations. Whilst some peace of mind can be drawn from the open manner in which this issue came to light in the Spanish press, the explanations given by CEPSA for the heavy pollution and the reassurances that no harm was caused to the environment or community, does not fully explain what happened and certainly cannot prove that no harm was done when no follow-up survey was carried out by the industry to check the effects of this dangerous and toxic fall-out over a period of time.

    That these emissions frequently appear to affect immediate areas and that the winds often protect Gibraltar does not detract from the presence of such obviously illegal levels of pollution being pumped out constantly and in such close proximity to our own environment, which by virtue of sharing regional ecosystems, must be affected.

    We would also like to point out that the bucket sampling is specific to volatile organic compounds and would therefore not be able to measure the levels of sulphur dioxide being emitted at present, nevertheless it should be noted that we had foreseen this situation as this particular pollutant is covered in our complaint sent to the EU some weeks ago where we complain of the lack of compliance by industry to levels specified by the new “Large Combustion Plant Directive” which covers Sulphur Dioxide specifically amongst other contaminants and in which we quote the levels of SO2 as reported by industry as an example of lack of compliance.

    We will now be sending the various press releases from the Spanish press together with the health warnings issued by the Consejeria Del Medio Ambiente as further proof of our concerns and as direct evidence which substantiates our claims as per the complaint. We see the present heavy pollution and health warnings issued not as an isolated incident as it is being portrayed in the media but as an aggravation of a chronic and illegal situation.

    ESG Committee