ADPD says pollution from Tal-Balal tarmac plant is a 'nightmare' to residents

The Green Party says Bitmac Ltd should stop operating unless improvements were made and called on ERA to dermand immediate installation of air quality filters

An aerial view of the Bitmac Ltd tarmac plant (Photo: Google)
An aerial view of the Bitmac Ltd tarmac plant (Photo: Google)

ADPD - The Green Party called for the Bitmac Ltd tarmac plant in the limits of Tal-Balal San Ġwann to seize operations, saying pollution was turning residents' quality of life into a "nightmare".

During a press conference in San Ġwann on Saturday, ADPD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that the residents have brought to the attention of the authorities the great inconvenience that the Bitmac Ltd in the limits of Tal-Balal was causing them for very long.

He said this included an obnoxious smell as well as pollution, in the form of black dust particles blown in the direction of the wind.

"The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) should demand for the immediate installation of filters so that the air quality in the area is improved. It is also imperative that the plant stops operating permanently unless there can be substantial improvements in the technology currently being used," Cacopardo said.

Cacopardo said that the party observed the plant over the previous months in order to establish exactly what was going on, noticing how during the electoral campaign it had not been operating at night. "In fact we had come on site several times during the past weeks because of the continuous complaints we received from Għargħur, Naxxar and Iklin residents," Cacopardo noted.

“The residents’ quality of life should be prioritized in practice, and not just with meaningless words. ADPD will be looking into what steps can be taken to safeguard the residents’ rights in the coming days,” concluded Cacopardo.

ADPD Deputy Secretary General Sandra Gauci noted that residents in the vicinity of this tarmac plant had been complaining for years about the situation, "but their pleas to the authorities seem to have fallen on deaf ears".

"Then on the last day of the electoral campaign, in the evening of Thursday 24th March, this plant came back to life, coincidentally at a time when the media were all focused with the last political party activities, and a time when it was too late for us to broadcast it for publication," Gauci said.

ADPD Deputy Chairperson Mario Mallia said it was no coincidence that one of the tarmac plant owners happens to be the canvasser of a former PL Minister on the 8th District.

"The air of impunity that has reigned supreme for so long now in our country and the close connections between political and commercial interests seems to prevail also in this case where the tarmac plant operators are being allowed to do as they please," Mallia said.