PR01/10/2009 POLLUTION: EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE PROVES ALTERNATTIVA DEMOKRATIKA RIGHT
- PR01/10/2009 POLLUTION: EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE PROVES ALTERNATTIVA DEMOKRATIKA RIGHT
On the 27 of May 2006 AD had announced that it will petition the Commissioner for Envrionment, Mr Stavros Dimas regarding pollution from the Delimara Power Station. Green MEPs Gisela Kallenbach, Angelika Beer and David Hammerstein, in collaboration with Alternattiva Demokratika, had also tabled a set of questions regarding emission values from this installtion.
Following AD's petition and the work of Green MEPs, the EU Commission had initiated infringement proceedings against the Maltese Government for failing to apply correctly the Large Combustion Plants Directive (Directive 2001/80/EC). AD had rightly insited that the Maltese Government was not doing its duty towards the Maltese public.
This case was brought in front of the European Court of Justice and the ruling on this case was delivered today (1/10/2009). The ECJ has declared that Malta has failed to fulfil those obligations related to the fixing of emission limit values for the Delimara Power Station and to the monitoring for the emissions from the chimeys of the plants at both Marsa and Delimara Power Stations.
Arnold Cassola stated: "We ask Dr Gonzi, in his capacity as Minister of the Environment, to update the Maltese people on the situation at the two power stations vis-a-vis emissions. In particular, we ask Dr Gonzi to state publicly if the emissions from all the combustion plants in both Marsa and Delimara are being monitored; if any of the limit values prescribed by the said Directive are being exceeded; and to make public the results of any continuous monitoring which is being carried out at both Power Stations".
Ralph Cassar, AD spokesperson on transport, energy and industry, added "AD shall be monitoring the situation closely and will not hesitate to lodge another complaint with the Commission should it result that Malta is still in breach of the Large Combustion Plants Directive. The Government should know, that any further action by the EU against Malta on this particular issue will lead to the imposition of fines. It is the Government's duty to safeguard citizens' health by applying in full this directive. Applying this directive is in the interest of all the citizens of Malta, especially those living close to the power stations."
AD PR released on 27/05/2006:
PRESS RELEASE 27/05/06
ALTERNATTIVA DEMOKRATIKA TO LODGE PETITION WITH EU ENVIRONMENT COMMISSIONER
OVER POLLUTION FROM MALTESE POWER STATIONS
Speaking at a Press Conference in front of the Marsa Power Station main gate entrance the Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party (AD) Dr. Vassallo said: "If there is one area in which EU membership should have
benefited Malta, than that should have been Environmental Protection. Barely two years after Malta's accession into the EU the Maltese government is already failing dismally to deliver on what it promised the electrorate in the pre-accession period." "We run the risk that the general disillusionment of the electorate with Malta's EU membership will fuel even more Euro-scepticism," added Dr Vassallo.
Ralph Cassar AD spokesperson on Energy, Industry and IT said: "The two power stations are just one of the issues which prove the government's lack of commitment towards the resolution of environmental problems. The Maltese electorate was enticed into voting for EU membership amongst other things, by the government's promises that the Delimara Power Station would adopt EU standards by the end of 2005 whilst the Marsa Power Station would either adopt EU standards by the date of accession or else close down (cf. Aggornat Special Edition November 2002). Today it is clear that this was nothing more than one of those pre-electoral promises the Maltese Electorate is so accustomed to."
"Any frequent user of Triq Dicembru 13 in Marsa will confirm that the chimneys at the Marsa Power Station often belch out conspicuous amounts of black smoke, replete with that particulate matter which the Power Station is meant to control as per the Large Combustion Plants Directive. We challenge the government to prove that the Marsa Power Station is in line with the requirements of the above mentioned Directive!" added Ralph Cassar.
Dr Vassallo continued: "The Marsa Power Station should be decommissioned since it is obvious that it is not up to EU standards, and new equipment should be used instead. "Costs are not an issue since a study by Dr Stephen Montfort has established a causal link between the Power Station emissions and the incidence of respiratory diseases in the area. The costs Enemalta would have to face in order to modernise its Jurassic equipment are more than offset by the social costs suffered by the populations of the localities close to the Power Station."
Ralph Cassar said: "According to the Treaty on the Accession of Malta into the European Union Annex XI pp 3308), the Delimara Power Station had to be compliant with dust emission limit values as from the 31 Decemeber 2005. Dust emissions to the atmosphere can be brought in line with what is demanded by EU-legislation only through the installation of electrostatic precipitators. To date we have not heard any news about the installation of such equipment at Delimara. This means that the Power Station at Delimara is in breach of the Large Combustion Plants Directive (2001/80/EC)." Ralph Cassar continued: "AD also suspect that the Delimara Power Station is not in line with the emission limit values for sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen as well."
"The Directive on Power Plants obliges the operator to monitor continuously for the emissions of these pollutants. We are soliciting Minister Pullicino to publish any data for the emissions of pollutants from the two power stations, if he is in possession of such data. If this data does not exist then we believe that the Maltese electorate is owed an explanation," added Ralph Cassar.
Dr Vassallo concluded: "In the coming days AD will be lodging a compliant with the Commissioner for the Environment regarding this issue. AD also appeals and invites all Maltese and Gozitans who treasure their health and that of their children to do likewise by signing a petition related to this complaint which can be found on the AD websites www.alternattiva.org.mt & www.adgozo.com ."