28th January 2011
Conservative MEP for Gibraltar, Ashley Fox MEP, has formally asked the European Commission to look at the pollution levels coming from the CEPSA refinery across the bay from Gibraltar. This follows news that the refinery has doubled its output over the last 12 months.
Concerned residents have contacted Mr Fox to express their worries that CEPSA may have boosted its output at the expense of its environmental standards. Mr Fox has now asked the Commission whether the refinery is complying with its operating licence from 2007 which clearly lays out its environmental obligations. He has further requested that if the refinery is found to be in breach of its environmental obligations that the Commission takes steps to ensure that the pollution does not harm both local Spanish and Gibraltarian residents.
“I warmly welcome any news that industry is boosting output and increasing efficiency, but this increase in output must not put people’s health at risk,” commented Ashley Fox MEP.
“There have been repeated concerns for many years, on both sides of the border, about the pollution coming from the refinery. If CEPSA have simply boosted output without tackling this problem then this will mean that even more pollution is entering the bay.”
“I want the Commission to ensure that the refinery is adhering to its obligations, because if it is not then its operating licence needs to be withdrawn. They have had years to get it up to scratch, if it is still polluting the bay then the refinery needs to be closed.”
Ashley Fox MEP for the South West & Gibraltar
5 Westfield Park
Tel: 0117 973 7050