The Malta Independent 17 May 2021, Monday

ERA’s decision to allow Comino works taken on grounds that mitigation measures will be implemented

Tuesday, 13 April 2021, 18:03 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Environment and Resources Authority Board's decision to allow the controversial Comino works to continue were taken on the grounds that mitigation measures will be included, the authority said.

The news broke today that the controversial works on a road leading to the Blue Lagoon were given the green light to continue by the ERA.

ERA has said the application that was determined by the board regarding works at Blue Lagoon in Comino was received following action taken by ERA, "whereby the works that were being undertaken were in breach of a clearance issued by ERA. The ERA Board's decision was taken on the grounds that the proposed continuation of works included mitigation measures to curb environmental damage and to continue the works in a manner that does not impinge on the natural integrity of the area. The existing passageway formed part of the established network of passegeways on Comino."

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"Following an in-depth evaluation of the overall situation on the site, the proposed works in the environmental application were recommended for approval subject that these are undertaken in line with the conditions proposed in the environmental permit. ERA has imposed a specific permit condition to provide a Restoration Plan for remedial works on the area that was impacted by works carried out so far and prior to the issuing of the environmental permit. The objective of the required restoration plan is to reinstate the impacted area to its former natural state and is to be submitted within one month. Permit conditions have also been included, such that these works are closely monitored by an ecological monitor. This shall be nominated by the applicant and approved by ERA. Additional conditions include hoarding and installation of dust containment measures both on land and at sea."

"The permit will allow the commenced works to continue in a manner that takes into account the importance of the site and include the necessary mitigation measures on any residual impacts on the environment."

Period of response to Ombudsman expired today

The Ombudsman had last week taken up PN MP Robert Cutajar's request for an investigation into works that had been carried out on Comino.

This newsroom is informed that the Ombudsman had written to both the ERA and the Planning Authority, giving them exactly one week to respond to the complaint which had been filed by the PN MP. That period expired today, this newsroom is informed.

It is as yet unclear whether the two entities had responded to the Ombudsman.

Cutajar said he had also asked the Ombudsman’s office to investigate environmental damage caused in other areas by government entities. These include works carried out at Dingli, Marsa, Attard, Dwejra Lines in Mosta, near the White Tower in Mellieha, in Pembroke and also in Imriehel.



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