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08 September 2010
Concerns at Delimara

Although summer is drawing to a close, the situation at the popular bathing spots close to the Delimara area remains a worrying and preoccupying scenario.  Recent news articles have focused on the fact that no testing for toxic waste emitted by the power plant into the bays has been carried out by MEPA and these spots are now clearly in an endangered status.

The Delimara power station is also very intensive in the use of sea-water as coolant which is eventually pumped out into the bay (with other chemicals)  known as ‘il-Hofra z-zghira’. This water is warmed up by 6 degrees centigrade in the process  and apart from causing irreversible ecological damage, it also poses a health threat for those who choose to swim  nearby . The adjacent  bays which are much more popular with patrons are those known as Delimara bay,pretty bay , St Peter’s Pool and ‘Il-Hofra l-kbira’ and although these are not directly in the power station’s water emissions remit, they are undoubtedly affected.

The Freeport terminal which is also nearby is replete with  ships which definitely contribute to the pollution of the surrounding sea with their fuel. There are  further contributions  to sea water pollution coming from nearby fish-farms and birzebbuga fuel depots.

Another issue which is not being tackled by any authority is the radioactive coalash mound in Benghisa which has been left to accumulate from the 1990’s when the power station was coal fired. Scientific  reports have confirmed that the ash is  toxic, and is not in a sealed  quarry and this is being blown or washed  out into the sea with the result that the adjacent area is  affected. Again MEPA is not carrying out any testing for radioactive particles on the surrounding  environs.

This alarming lack of action is only further imperiling those hundreds of local and foreign bathers who use these bays on a regular basis. It is grossly irresponsible on government and MEPA’s part to persist in ignoring this problem which threatens to seriously damage the lovely bays in the Delimara area not to mention the risk to the general public’s health.

Dr Etienne Grech

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