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  • Time catches up with Gibraltar and local pollution

    For over seven years, the ESG has been lobbying Government to reduce pollution from various sources in Gibraltar. Recent news of the EU considering legal action against the UK for excessive pollution from areas in England as well as Gibraltar has prompted the group to speak out with concerns on local pollution sources.

    One such source and major concern for the ESG has been emissions from our power stations, which we believe, are largely responsible for producing much of the particulate matter and high levels of nitrogen dioxide in our local environment as well as emissions from traffic. These emissions have been recorded on Gibraltar’s own official air monitoring website and the data has pressed the EU to initiate legal action. It is scientifically proven that high levels of such chemicals are harmful to health and are targeted under the new IPPC directive in force since November 2007.

    During the last year alone the ESG has intensified its lobbying of the Ministry of the Environment regarding pollution in Rosia Road and is concerned that while Govt has responded to its own data by investing in additional monitoring equipment, that it has not pressed for filters, stacks or any other mitigating equipment to be set up at the generating stations in the meantime, to make any difference to the serious air pollution entering residential areas.

    Such measures were included in the conditions given to OESCO with its new IPPC permit by the authorised agency, in November 2007.

    The ESG continues to press Govt for action on these conditions but believes that with the prospect of a new, modern, power station to replace all three heavily polluting stations, that further major investment is not considered to be a serious option.

    The ESG remains concerned however, that the levels of air and noise pollution from the Rosia Road power stations as well as Gibelec at Waterport, and their proximity to residential areas, continues to pose a health threat as well as degrading the quality of life for many.

    With the news of the rightful potential for legal action by the EU, perhaps the GOG will now be persuaded to take steps to reduce levels of pollution by pressing for investment in interim measures and making a safer environment for all.