The ERA Board considered 11 applications for environmental permits, all of which were favourably determined subject to specific post decision requirements.

New Permits

Two new applications were approved covering operations of existing service stations in Mosta (EP 0093/19) and Zurrieq (EP 0050/19). Both petrol stations have been refurbished to introduce Vapour Recovery systems as required by applicable legislation. All petrol stations are required to have secondary recovery systems to capture the vapours from the dispensing of petrol and the Authority is processing a number of applications of existing fuel stations that are undergoing refurbishment.

Another application considered by the ERA Board regarded interventions on trees as part of the upgrading works and road junction improvements at Triq l-Imdina, Mrieħel (NP 0167/20). The removal of nine Eucalyptus trees, two Italian cypress trees and eight trees that are invasive and alien species has been approved on condition that 110 trees would be planted as compensation for the removal of the 11 protected trees. The planting of the new trees shall be done in public open spaces in the proximity of the affected site, which include Triq l-Imdina, Balzan and Mriehel and Triq il-Ferrovija in Santa Venera.

Renewal of Permits

Two applications covered renewal by two hotels at St. Julians (EP 49/20 and EP 54/20). The permits cover various obligations including the control and monitoring of the discharges to sea from desalinisation plants on site and the emissions to air from combustion plants on site used for the generation of power.

Another renewal of permit application considered the continued operation of a port facility at Marsaxlokk Harbour to service the offshore oil rig industry (EP 0042/20). The permit addresses obligations related to bulk storage and maintenance activities, as well as conditions on waste management, emissions to air from combustion plant on site and reporting requirements

A renewal of an environment permit application by a waste management facility located at Bulebel Industrial Estate, Zejtun, to operate an interim storage, pre-treatment and transfer facility for certain types of waste (EP 0071/20). During the processing of the application the Authority ascertained that the operations that were permitted by the previous permit were undertaken in line with the conditions, and thus recommended the renewal of the permit.

Four other applications determined by the ERA Board consisted of the renewal of operations for the rearing of tuna. Three of these permits cover operations by different operators that have their farms located at the South-East Aquaculture Zone (EP 0001/20, EP 0023/20 and EP 0114/19) and another permit covers the operations of a farm at the temporary North Aquaculture Zone (EP 0118/19). The permits cover specific operational aspects applicable to the tuna farming industry including conditions on the feeding of tuna which must be followed to ensure that any resulting releases are contained, collected and disposed of. Various other mitigation measures are to be deployed by the operators to ensure that the best environmental practices are undertaken and these operations have minimal impact on the marine environment. Furthermore, all operators are required to continue with the implementation of the biannual environmental monitoring which is already in place and is required to be continued during the lifetime of the permits, in accordance with a monitoring plan which has been approved by the Authority.

14 July 2020