Political calculation or environmental principle?

calculator

 

Joseph Muscat’s declaration that the Freeport Terminal will not be permitted to expand in Birżebbuġa’s direction due to its impacts on the residential community will inevitably have an effect on the Planning Authority. Viewed in the context of the recent Planning Authority decision not to approve the proposed Ħondoq ir-Rummien development, a pattern seems to be developing.

Given the fact that these two decisions are closely associated with localities that politically support the Labour Party it is still not clear whether this newly discovered sensitivity to restrict development which negatively impacts residential communities is based on political calculation or on environmental principle. This consideration is inevitable, in particular due to the report in this newspaper on 22 June that the Prime Minister had stated, in a discussion with environmental NGO Flimkien għall-Ambjent Aħjar, that he does not care about impact assessments, as residents get used to everything. As far as I am aware, the Office of the Prime Minister never corrected this report.

The Freeport Terminal debate clearly indicates that Birżebbuġa residents are determined to deliver a different message: they have had enough. During the last seven years there has been an ongoing tug-of-war between Birżebbuġa Local Council, MEPA and the Freeport Terminal Management. This has led to a number of improvements, the most important of which was the setting up of a tripartite Environmental Monitoring Committee that has served to build some bridges and to explore solutions to existing problems caused by the operation of the Freeport Terminal.

There was a time, around two years ago, when pressure was put on Birżebbuġa Local Council to drop its objections to specific operations. I distinctly remember representatives from the oil-rig repair industry  trying to convince the Council of the “benefits” that an oil-rig industry based at the Freeport Terminal could generate.

When these representatives realised that no one was convinced, an amendment to the environmental permit was forced through the then MEPA Board. To their credit, only three of the then board members understood the real issues and voted against the proposal: the two MPs (Joe Sammut and Ryan Callus) and the environmental NGO representative Alex Vella of the Ramblers Association.

The amended environmental permit would have permitted minor repairs to ships and oil-rigs berthed at the Freeport Terminal. However, after the MEPA Board meeting all hell broke loose, leading Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to disassociate himself from its decision and publicly align himself with the minority on the board opposing the changes. He then stated that he was in agreement with “his representative”, Labour MP Joe Sammut.

While the Freeport Terminal, faced with the reaction of residents, eventually relinquished the newly-acquired permit, the internal debate within the Labour Party continued, leading to the recent statement by Joseph Muscat that he is not in agreement with an expansion of the Freeport Terminal operations that would have a negative impact on the Birżebbuġa community.

Irrespective of whether it is a matter of principle or a political calculation which has led the Prime Minister to make such a statement, I submit that this is still a significant turning point that has been achieved as a direct result of Birżebbuġa Local Council’s persistent lobbying. It contrasts with the position taken by the Leader of the Opposition, who looks forward to an increase in the operations of the Freeport Terminal, without batting an eyelid over the resulting, continuously increasing, impact on the residential community.

The Prime Minister’s statement, while being a positive first step, is certainly not enough. It needs to be translated into policy as an integral part of the revised Local Plans currently under consideration. It is also important that the Prime Minister’s newly identified sensitivities are exported to other areas in Malta and Gozo. It is essential that, in a small country such as ours, third party rights opposing “development” are reinforced.

The issue at stake is far larger than Birżebbbuġa or the Freeport Terminal. It is a tug-of-war between those supporting “development” at all costs and our residential communities. The government must, through planning policy, be supportive of all our residential communities without exception.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 31st July 2016

Advertisements

Il-Freeport : tagħlima kbira

BBugia. two Mayors

Jekk Simon Busuttil  inħasad, jiena xejn ma kont sorpriż bid-dikjarazzjoni tal-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat li huwa ma jaqbilx li l-Port Ħieles jibqa’ jespandi fid-direzzjoni ta’ Birżebbuġa. Dan għaliex osservajt id-deċiżjoni tinbena biċċa biċċa. Kultant b’sogru kbir għal dawk involuti.

Forsi l-iktar mument kritiku kien meta l-Bord tal-MEPA kien iddiskuta emenda għall-permess ambjentali tal-Port Ħieles u dan il-Bord kien ivvota fil-maġġoranza kbir tiegħu favur din l-emenda. Ħlief tlieta: iż-żewġ membri Parlamentari (Joe Sammut u Ryan Callus) u r-rappreżentant tal-NGOs ambjentali Alex Vella tar-Ramblers Association.

L-emenda kienet biex ikun permess fil-Port Ħieles xogħol żgħir ta’ tiswija ta’ vapuri u oilrigs! Il-Kunsill ta’ Birżebbuġa dakinnhar kien għamel lobbying qawwi kontra l-emenda, imma din xorta kienet approvata mill-Bord tal-MEPA.

Imma wara l-laqgħa tal-Bord tal-MEPA qamu l-irwiefen kollha. Ir-residenti semmgħu leħinhom b’mod mill-iktar ċar u irnexxielhom joħolqu diskussjoni mqanqla anke fil-Partit Laburista tant li wasslu lil Joseph Muscat biex b’mod ċar jgħid fil-pubbliku illi hu ma kienx jaqbel mad-deċiżjoni li kien ħa l-Bord tal-MEPA. Kien iddikjara publikament li kien jaqbel mal-vot kontra (fil-Bord tal-MEPA) tal-Membru Parlamentari Laburista Joe Sammut, inċidentalment li jirrappreżenta lid-Distrett li minnu jifforma parti Birżebbuġa fil-Parlament. Eventwalment minħabba r-reażżjoni pubblika l-Port Ħieles ma baqax jinsisti għall-permess li kien kiseb għal xogħol ta’ tiswijiet minuri fuq vapuri u oilrigs.

Wara dan l-inċident jidher li kompla id-dibattitu fil-Partit Laburista li wassal għad-deċiżjoni li n-nies f’Birżebbuġa jixirqilhom li jkunu mħarsa mill-impatti tal-Port Ħieles ħafna iktar milli kienu sal-lum.

Jiena naħseb li dan huwa punt importanti ħafna u l-mertu għalih huwa prinċipalment tal-Kunsilliera Laburisti fil-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Birżebbuġa: fuq quddiem nett is-Sindku tal-lum, Kevin Barun, imma ukoll Joseph Farrugia ir-Ricky li bħala l-ewwel Sindku ta’ Birżebbuġa ħejja t-triq illi wasslet għal din id-deċiżjoni.

Imma issa huwa importanti li din ma tkunx biss rebħa ta’ Birżebbuġa. L-effetti tagħha jeħtieg li jinfirxu billi minnha l-Partit Laburista jieħu tagħlima kbira: il-konsiderazzjoni tal-impatti fuq in-nies ta’ kull proġett ta’ żvilupp (hi x’inhi n-natura tiegħu) hija fundamentali daqs, jekk mhux iktar, mill-konsiderazzjonijiet ekonomiċi.

Ikun tajjeb li naraw jekk u kif din it-tagħlima ser tkun applikata tul ix-xhur li ġejjin. Taqbida bejn is-saħħa tan-nies u s-saħħa tal-flus.

ippubblikat ukoll fuq iNews : l-Erbgħa 27 ta’ Lulju 2016

Nifs għall-Magħtab …….. bil-bibien magħluqin

Maghtab PS2

Iktar kmieni illum, wara nofs siegħa jiddiskutu bil-bibien magħluqin, il-membri tal-Bord tal-MEPA qalu le għal pompa tal-petrol fil-Magħtab. Dehrilhom li kellhom jiddiskutu bil-magħluq. Għalkemm kellhom dan id-dritt jiena ma niftakarx li dan qatt sar fis-snin li għaddew. Ma nafx għalfejn għamlu hekk għax ma ingħatat l-ebda raġuni għal dan. Id-diffikulta li tinħoloq f’dawn iċ-ċirkustanzi hi li m’għandix idea x’kienu l-argumenti li ġiebu l-membri tal-Bord. Għax meta d-diskussjoni tkun fil-magħluq il-feedback ikun zero.

Mid-9 membri tal-Bord tal-MEPA li kienu preżenti 2 ma ħadux sehem fil-votazzjoni. Billi ma segwejniex id-diskussjoni allura ma nafux għaliex għażlu din it-triq.

Id-deċiżjoni tfisser li l-maġġoranza tal-membri tal-Bord taw kaz tal-argumenti kollha li inġiebu, inkluż dawk tar-residenti. Dan juri kemm kien utli l-argument, f’xi mumenti jaħraq ħafna, li żviluppa waqt il-laqgħa pubblika tal-Bord tal-MEPA li saret il-ġimgħa l-oħra.

Din id-deċiżjoni tagħti nifs liz-zona rurali tal-Magħtab. Mhux nifs fit-tul għax probabbilment ma ndumux ma jkollna niffaċċjaw l-appell.

Il-MEPA u l-pompa tal-petrol proposta għall-Magħtab

Maghtab PS

Il-bieraħ quddiem il-Bord tal-MEPA bdiet tiġi diskussa l-applikazzjoni dwar il-pompa tal-petrol fil-Magħtab. Id-diskussjoni kella issir xi ġimgħat ilu, imma kienet posposta minħabba proċeduri fil-Qorti mir-residenti għax ir-rapport li kien ikkonkluda sa dakinnhar id-Direttorat tal-Ippjanar kien qed jinjora l-fatt li l-Pjan Lokali kellu policy li ż-żona fejn kienet proposta l-pompa tal-petrol kien jirriżervaha bħala Category 2 Rural Settlement.

Meta  bdiet id-diskussjoni ma saret l-ebda referenza għal din l-istess policy mill-esperti u professuri li ppreżentaw power points elaborati f’isem l-iżviluppatur u f’isem il-MEPA. Kien hemm minnhom min qalilna biss li l-policy ma tapplikax u waqaf hemm. Ħadd ma indenja ruħu jispjega għaliex.

Iffaċċjati b’dan jiena flimkien mal-persuni l-oħra li f’isem ir-residenti konna qed nippreżentaw il-każ kontra l-proposta ta’ żvilupp tal-pompa spjegajna għaliex il-policy fil-Pjan Lokali kellha tiġi applikata.

Jiena spjegajt għaliex skond il-Pjan Lokali l-permess għall-pompa tal-petrol ma setax joħroġ. Ha nikkwota dak li irrapporta Kevin Schembri Orland fl-Independent :

“He delivered a brief presentation against the project. “The central issue, which seems to have been missing from most presentations given, is that the site forms part of Rural settlement Category 2 (Policy CG04 in the Central Malta Local Plan). If some basic research was conducted, one would see that wall to wall with the site, there is an application refused as it forms part of Rural Settlement Category 2, and this was also confirmed in the appeal of that case. “This is basic information which you must take into consideration”. “Looking at CG04, it specifies what can be built in a rural settlement, and a petrol station is not one of the developments allowed under this policy” Cacopardo read from MEPA policy and said that the aim of this designation as a Category 2 Rural Settlement is to prevent further development of incompatible uses in the area, due to the disorganized state of the settlement. He said that since this is part of a rural settlement, this Board has its hands tied and cannot allow another use that conflicts with policy CGO4.”

Wara li konna spiċċajna nippreżentaw il-każ f’isem ir-residenti, l-esperti li kien hemm bdew iwieġbu xi punti. L-Independent jirrapporta hekk dwar dak li ġara :

“Mr Cacopardo, as well as residents in the area, had been arguing that a particular policy was not taken into consideration. After residents made these arguments, the representative of the Planning Directorate argued that it was considered, and began making his arguments. At this point, Carmel Cacopardo stood up asked why none of these reasons were included in the DPAR report and accused him of professional disloyalty for not including these arguments in their documents.”

Id-Direttorat tal-Ippjanar  għandu l-obbligu li jispjega b’mod ċar u eżatt il-posizzjoni dwar kull applikazzjoni li tkun qed tiġi ikkunsidrata. Irrispettivament xi tkun l-opinjoni professjonali tal-uffiċjali tad-Direttorat għandhom l-obbligu li ma joqgħodux iduru mal-lewża jew li jevitaw xi argument. Imma sfortunatament spiss qed jagħmlu dan.  Għalhekk għidt li dan kien każ ta’ slealta.

Il-MEPA permezz tad-Direttorat tal-Ippjanar għandha l-obbligu li tiskuża ruħha mar-residenti tal-Magħtab.

 

Symbolic gestures do not compensate for planning failures

MFT.4 new cranes

Last Thursday, the MEPA Board finally decided to approve the Freeport Terminal’s application to install four cranes with 140-metre high jibs at the terminal. This decision was taken after the Board, in an anticipated about-turn, accepted a second declaration from Transport Malta as a recommendation for approval of the proposal.

In August, Transport Malta had pointed out that the installation of these new cranes was “not desirable” as, due to their height, they would “penetrate one of the established aeronautical protection surfaces by circa 18m”. However notwithstanding the conclusion that, for this reason, the Freeport’s proposal was not considered as undesirable, “given the importance of this facility to the economy”  Transport Malta gave its go-ahead to the Freeport’s proposal subject to a number of mitigation measures.

The Freeport facilities are too close to the residential area of Birżebbuġa and, over the years, MEPA has not given sufficient consideration to the impact that this facility has had – and is still having – on the quality of life of the residential community.

At no point during its consideration of the various planning applications submitted over the years has MEPA considered it necessary to consider the social impact of this economic activity. In fact, primarily as a result of the Freeport’s operations, most of the sport facilities in the area, introduced by the British services over the years, have disappeared. It is only recently that the extensive damage to the waterpolo pitch was made good,  through the reconstruction of a new waterpolo pitch. The activities of the Sailing Club, which  borders the terminal, have also been badly affected as a result of the increase in the number of ships making use of the terminal. The Birżebbuġa Sailing Club, ironically sponsored by the Freeport itself, is the only one of its kind in Malta’s political south.

Last Thursday, MEPA, despite opposition from the Freeport Terminal management, decided on compensating the Birżebbuġa community through the creation of an ad hoc fund to the amount of €955,000 to fund environmental improvement projects in the Birżebbuġa area. It is the second time in six years that MEPA has considered it necessary to take such a symbolic decision. The first time was in 2009, when a fund of €741,820 was created for the same purpose. That decision was, however, quashed by the Lawrence Gonzi-led Cabinet as a result of the planning appeal process, even though the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal  in an 11-page recommendation, explained why the original decision was to be confirmed.

The decision to create this latest ad hoc fund is symbolic in that it recognises the Freeport’s negative impact on the local community. It will not, however, have any substantial effect. It is just a symbolic recognition of the fact that the contribution of the Freeport Terminal to Malta’s economic growth is being achieved at the expense of the quality of life of Birżebbuġa residents.

It  is known that a number of residential properties in the area closest to the terminal have been vacant for a considerable time, as the noise generated through its operation is at times unbearable, irrespective of the time of day.

This is certainly a major failure of land-use planning in Malta, a failure that will be compounded in the coming months when other major planning decisions –  such as the gas storage facilities for the Delimara Power Station just across the bay from the Freeport Terminal – come into operation.

The transformation of Marsaxlokk Bay into an industrial port is now practically complete and, gradually, a substantial number of residents will be squeezed out.  It is the same process as that experienced by the Three Cities at Cottonera as a result of the activities of Malta Drydocks. The results can be seen by all.  Soon, the shedding of crocodile tears will commence and then the rehabilitation of Marsaxlokk Bay may possibly be planned.

originally published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 13 December 2015

Il-krejnijiet tal-Port Ħieles

Freeport 2015

 

Għada l-Ħamis, il-Bord tal-MEPA ser jiddiskuti l-applikazzjoni  (PA 3859/14) biex ikunu stallati numru ta’ krejnijiet mill-kbar: b’għoli ta’ 140 metru.

L-applikazzjoni għadha mhiex deċiża, imma l-krejnijiet diġa huma stallati. Attitudni  arroganti ta’ min jippretendi li għalih l-applikazzjoni hi biss formalità. Waqt li l-applikazzjoni għad ma ġietx deċiża dawn il-krejnijiet ġew ordnati, inħadmu, u ġew trasportati lejn Malta u tqegħdu ukoll fuq il-post.

Il-Bord tal-MEPA għadu ma ħax deċiżjoni dwar dawn il-krejnijiet minħabba li l-parir li sal-lum tat Transport Malta kien wieħed ambigwu.

Fil-fatt, f’Awwissu li għadda Transport Malta f’ittra indirizzata lill-MEPA qalet li dawn il-krejnijiet jidħlu madwar 18-il metru fiż-żona riżervata għall-ajruplani, u li f’ċirkustanzi oħra ma jkunux permessi. Imma minħabba tal-importanza tal-Port Ħieles għall-ekonomija, għal darba biss, dawn ser ikunu kkunsidrati.

L-ittra tuża l-kliem “this situation is not desirable”.

Transport Malta, l-ewwel u qabel kollox, għandha responsabbiltà biex tħares is-sigurtà tan-nies. Mhux biss ta’ dawk li jagħmlu użu mill-ajruplani imma anke tal-ħaddiema tal-Port Ħieles u tar-residenti ta’ Birżebbuġa. Ma jistax ikun għaldaqstant li tieħu din l-attitudni : li tikkomprometti s-sigurtà, u dan għall-ebda raġuni.

Nittamaw li Transport Malta tkun iktar ċara għax s’issa qagħdet iddur mal-lewża.

Freeport cranes advice 0815

 

Issa li l-MEPA stenbħet …………..

alarm clock 2

Id-deċiżjoni tal-Bord tal-MEPA nhar il-Ħamis li għadda hi deċiżjoni li għal darba tagħti każ tar-residenti.  Tajjeb li l-MEPA stenbħet, għax sal-lum konna drajna deċiżjonijiet li ftit li xejn jagħtu kaz tan-nies.

Hemm bżonn li jkun dejjem iktar ċar għal kulħadd li l-ħidma ekonomika trid tagħti każ in-nies, għax inkella iktar tagħmel ħsara milli ġid.

Tul is-snin, il-Port Ħieles tħalla jersaq dejjem iktar qrib ir-residenzi. L-impatt tal-istorbju tul 24 siegħa huwa esaġerat f’kull ħin, imma l-iktar matul is-siegħat tal-mistrieħ.

Għalhekk, meta nhar il-Ħamis il-MEPA ma ħallietx li jsir iktar tħammil mal-moll l-iktar viċin tar-residenzi (Terminal 1, West Quay) kienet qed jillimita l-attività ta’ vapuri ta’ daqs ikbar f’żona fejn joħolqu l-iktar impatt negattiv.

Jiena sodisfatt imma sorpriż b’din id-deċiżjoni, u nittama li jkun hemm iktar deċiżjonijiet bħal din. Għax issa li l-MEPA stenbħet ikun xieraq li ma terġax torqod.

Smelling the coffee

 

extract MT freeport crane clearancesmell the coffee

Last Thursday was one of those very rare occasions when the MEPA Board, considering two different development applications submitted by the Freeport Terminal operator, decided on the one which will be beneficial to Birżebbuġa residents.

I must confess that I was surprised at this, as I am accustomed to a MEPA which thinks and acts differently. I do not know whether Thursday’s sitting was a one-off or else whether it signals that the Authority has at last realised that the quality of life of our communities should be the real focus of its endeavours. Only time will tell.

The first application was to renew an approved permit in connection with  dredging work aimed at enabling larger ships to make use of the West Quay of Terminal 1. The second application proposed the installation of larger cranes with 140-metre jibs. The cranes currently in use have 110-metre jibs.

After repeated representations from the Birżebbuġa local council, as well as Birżebbuġa residents, MEPA-weeks before Thursday’s meeting- informed the Freeport Terminal Operator that siting these large cranes along the West Quay of Terminal 1 was unacceptable due to their impact on the quality of life of  residents, a number of whom live just across the road from the Freeport Terminal boundary wall.

The management of the Freeport Terminal complied with MEPA’s instructions to relocate the 140-metre jib cranes. This, however, begged the further question as to whether or not the pending dredging work was, in fact, now required.

The MEPA Board unanimously accepted the submission from the local council that, in view of the relocation of the cranes, there was no further need for the dredging permit and this was therefore not renewed.

Regarding the second application, seeking authorisation to replace a number of existing cranes with 110-metre jibs with more modern models having 140-jibs, the local council sought an explanation as to why a proposal for the siting of a power station close by – at il-Mara Bengħajsa (with an 80-metre high chimney) in the late 1980s was shot down by the Civil Aviation authorities, who are now accepting the installation of 140-metre high jibs.

During the discussion, it transpired that the clearance issued by Transport Malta was ambiguous. In fact, Transport Malta stated that the 140-metre jib cranes “will penetrate one of the established aeronautical protection surfaces by circa 18m and although this situation is not desirable, given the importance of this facility to the economy, on exceptional basis and without prejudice to any future request it is being considered acceptable subject to the following mitigations ………………”

You have read correctly. The 140-metre jib cranes are “not desirable” yet they are “being considered acceptable” by Transport Malta due to the importance of the Freeport to the economy.

The MEPA Chairman is insisting that Transport Malta owes us an explanation. He could have added that safety should not be compromised for any reason, including “economic importance”.

In a further twist in the whole saga, the Freeport Terminal management proceeded with the installation of the new cranes without waiting for a MEPA decision on the development permit requested.

Public opinion has been repeatedly critical of MEPA for its insensitivity to the impact of developments on residents in various localities. Economic operators were afforded  sufficient protection to be able to over-ride the growing environmental concerns of our communities.

The same MEPA Board which, last Thursday, unanimously decided to refuse the renewal of a development permit to carry out dredging work had, 18 months ago, voted by a large majority in favour of changes to the Freeport’s environmental permit such that it would have been permissible to carry out repairs to ships and oil rigs at the Kalafrana Terminal.  It was only at the insistence of the Birżebbuġa Local Council that the Freeport Terminal management opted not to use the permit issued.

The question to which I seek an answer to is whether Thursday’s events signify that MEPA has awoken up from its slumber and smelled the coffee  It would indeed be commendable if it is capable of standing up to corporate (and state) arrogance.

Ending MEPA’s Rip van Winkle phase would signify that, after all, the possibility to improve the quality of life in Malta through better environment protection does exist, after all. But time is running out.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 22 November 2015

Meta l-MEPA tiftaħ għajnejha

freeport.aerial viw

 

Il-bieraħ kont preżenti għal-laqgħa tal-Bord tal-MEPA fejn fost affarijiet oħra ġew diskussi żewġ applikazzjonijiet dwar il-Port Ħieles. Kont qed nassisti lill-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Birżebbuġa.

Waħda minn dawn l-applikazzjonijiet kienet biex isir xogħol ta’ dredging ħdejn il-moll tal-Port Ħieles l-iktar viċin tar-residenti ta’ Birżebbuġa (West Quay ta’ Terminal 1). L-oħra kienet dwar l-istallazzjoni ta’ krejnijiet ġodda ta’ għoli ta’ 140 metru.

Il-krejnijiet  il-ġodda għall-ewwel kienu destinati biex jitqegħdu fuq il-West Quay ta’ Terminal 1 ukoll. Imma wara li l-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Birżebbuġa u bosta residenti oġġezzjonaw għal dan, il-MEPA insistiet mal-Port Ħieles li post il-krejnijiet kellu jinbidel għax dak propost ma kienx aċċettabbli.

Il-maniġment tal-Port Ħieles aċċetta li l-krejnijiet jitqegħdu iktar il-bogħod mir-residenzi f’Birżebbuġa.

Bħala riżultat ta’ dan, il-konsegwenza logika kienet waħda ovvja : jekk il-krejniet ma kienux ser jitqegħdu fil-West Quay ta’ Terminal 1 xi ħtieġa kien għad baqa’ li jsir ix-xogħol tad–dredging?  Ir-residenti  kellhom id-dritt li jkollhom insurance minn attività fil-Port Ħieles li toħloqilhom inkonvenjent.  Dan il-permess li kienu qed jitolbu l-Port Ħieles ma kienx hemm iktar bżonnu.

Jiena ma ridtx nemmen lil widnejja iktar tard meta b’vot unanimu l-Bord tal-MEPA iddeċieda favur Birżebbuġa meta qal le għal iktar xogħol ta’ dredging fil-Port Ħieles. Flimkien miegħi taw kontribut kbir fid-diskussjoni s-Sindku ta’ Birżebbuġa Kevin Barun, il-predeċessur tiegħu r-“Ricky” Joseph Farrugia u l-Onor. Marlene Farrugia u John Grech mill-għaqda ambjentali Birżebbuġa Environmental Action Group.

L-applikazzjoni dwar il-krejnijiet waqfet ukoll u dan minħabba li hemm bżonn li l-parir tal-awtoritajiet tal-avjazzjoni ċivili jkun wieħed ċar. S’issa jidher li dawn qed iduru mal-lewża għax il-krejnijiet huma għoljin wisq u x’aktarx li jinfdu l-flightpath riżervat għall-ajruplani. Jekk dan hu hekk jista’ jkun ta’ periklu.

Jiena għalija din kienet esperjenza ġdida. Ma nafx lill-MEPA taħdem b’dan il-mod. Is-soltu tibqa’ għaddejja qiesha romblu minn fuq id-drittijiet tar-residenti. Jidher li l-bieraħ il-MEPA fetħet għajnejha beraħ.

Nittama li ma tagħlaqhomx iktar. Għax meta l-MEPA tiftaħ għajnejha hemm ċans tajjeb li dan jirrifletti ruħu fi kwalità ta’ ħajja aħjar għalina lkoll.

Mhux biss f’Birżebbuġa, iżda kullimkien.

Il-Freeport il-fuq mil-liġi ?

Hisilicon K3

Bħal-lum ġimgħa, nhar il-Ħamis 19 ta’ Novembru 2015 il-Bord tal-MEPA ser jiddiskuti u jiddeċiedi dwar applikazzjoni tal-Freeport biex jiġu stallati krejnijiet ġodda, li għandhom għoli ta’ 140 metru (30 metru iktar minn dawk li hemm illum).

Għad ma ittieħditx deċżjoni mill-Bord tal-MEPA imma l-krejnijiet diġa tqegħdu fuq il-post.

Il-Freeport jippretendi li jagħmel li jrid? Li huwa l-fuq mil-liġi? Meta inti li qed taqra dan l-artiklu tibni xi kamra żgħira, tibni xi ħajt jew tiftaħ biċċa ta’ tieqa qabel ma joħrog permess kemm idumu ġejjin enforcement officers iwaħħlu l-karti mal-ħitan u jagħtu l-ordnijiet? U l-Freeport?

Forsi tagħmel tajjeb il-MEPA li twaħħalhom multa tajba, u żżidha mad-€955,000 li l-Freeport ser ikunu obbligati li jagħtu għal  xogħol ta’ titjib f’Birżebbuġa.