The Malta Independent 27 November 2021, Saturday

Geologists are the competent persons to make geological assessments – Peter Gatt

Saturday, 13 November 2021, 09:44 Last update: about 13 days ago

Geologist Peter Gatt said that geologists are the most competent persons to make geological assessments.

He was replying to an article titled Peter Gatt 'not competent' to determine if a civil engineering intervention is adequate (Independent, 12.11.2021).

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In his reply, Gatt said:

“The intervention at Chadwick Lakes in 2019 falls under the realm of Engineering Geology, a branch of geology practiced by many geologists around the world. Geologists are the competent persons to understand the nature of rock and make assessments on geological hazards, slope stability, flooding and erosion. Irresponsibly, some Periti have been doing geological assessments when they are not competent to do so. 

“Following the recent collapse of the road along Chadwick Lakes, the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers had itself admitted that the civil engineering aspect of the Chadwick Lakes project was inadequate (Malta Today, 8.11.2021). This case is especially serious because the Perit responsible for assessing the integrity of the built structures (which failed) is a warranted civil engineer and a member of the Chamber.

“The Chamber contradicts itself when it claims that only warranted civil engineers (periti) can advise on excavations in rock or soil while acknowledging the need for ‘greater investment in specialisation within the civil engineering side of our profession’ (Independent, 12.11.2021). This statement is an admission that presently, local civil engineers are unprepared for the task and require further training. This belated realisation comes too late for the people who tragically lost their lives and homes in the past few years due to rock excavation advised only by periti.

“The Chamber has embarked on a series of brazen attacks on the Geological profession in Malta intended to berate geologists. If this attitude persists, avoidable rock failures during excavation will continue to happen because the Perit cannot substitute the geologist.

“In the interest of protecting third-party property and lives, the Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers should act responsibly and work with other professions rather than exclude them.

 

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