The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
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New Chamber of Geologists established, aims to ensure public safety

Tuesday, 1 February 2022, 12:23 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Chamber of Geologists was established in January to protect the environment, ensure public safety and promote responsible use of natural resources whilst also promoting the importance of the application of geology, its President Peter Gatt told The Malta Independent.

Gatt said that Geologists serve the public, but they need to be recognized by the Authorities. He added that in many European countries, Geologists are awarded a warrant from their respective governments.

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“In many countries, geologists are awarded a warrant from their respective government, whilst in Malta, we aren’t even recognized,” the President of the Chamber said.

Malta is the last country in Europe to have a Professional body for Geologists. The Chamber and its five-member Council has finally filled this lacuna.

Currently, any unqualified person can do the work of a geologist, he said. The issuing of a warrant from the state would ensure the safety of the citizens. He added that when a site is excavated, a geologist should be employed to examine the rock and assess any hazards that might be present.

The Chamber is currently addressing the aspect of excavation, both on the surface and sub-service. The geologist should also be consulted, Gatt remarked.

He added that considering the recent building failures casued by adjacent rock excavation, the Chamber should have been consulted immediately.

Gatt has been in contact with the Building and Constructing Authority for the past four months but was given a copy of Building Codes drafted by the Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) to review on the last day of consultation, he said.

“This is deplorable and shows that public safety is not being taken seriously by the Authorities.”

“The geologist is specialized in rock and its excavation, so the least they can do is consult one from the beginning,” Gatt said.

Apart from that, Gatt also said that environmental planning requires consultation with geologists, espcially on matter concerning flooding which still plagues many areas in the rainy season.

The Chamber is also focusing on natural resources, both limestone resouces used for construction and energy. Gatt said that Malta has potential for oil and gas resources. Instead, Malta imports over a billion euro of gas and oil when we can explore for these resouces in our continental shelf, he added.

“Malta has potential for oil and gas resources; we have practically done nothing up until now as a nation,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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