Engineer files judicial protest against ERA over LNG tanker permit

Assisted by PN executive president Ann Fenech, engineer Arthur Ciantar argued that he would be holding the Environment and Resources Authority responsible for damages in case of accident

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Yannick Pace
17 December 2016, 5:40pm
Engineer Arthur Ciantar assisted by maritime lawyer and PN executive president, Ann Fenech
Engineer Arthur Ciantar assisted by maritime lawyer and PN executive president, Ann Fenech
An engineer has filed a judicial protest against the Environment and Resources Authority, holding it responsible for any damages that may occur in case of an accident involving the LNG tanker.

Engineer Arthur Ciantar, assisted by maritime lawyer and PN executive president Ann Fenech, filed the judicial protest ahead of a public consultation meeting to be held on Monday on the IPPC permit.

Ciantar, a Marsaxlokk resident, said that it was unacceptable that the ERA had only published replies to a number of concerns on Thursday evening, leaving very little time to analyse the reply before Monday’s meeting.

“Despite the fact that there was not enough time to go through the replies, Ciantar has tried to do so. However, many questions have remained unanswered,” his lawyer said.

Fenech argued that this has left Ciantar with no choice but to file a judicial protest asking the ERA board members not to approve the permit.

Moreover, she said that Ciantar was holding ERA responsible for any damages caused to him and his family in the event of an accident.

Ciantar said that while he was in favour of the shift to gas, he was very concerned with the way things were being handled by Electrogas – the private consortium responsible of the new gas-fired power station.

“I am in favour of gas and I am even in favour of having a floating storage unit. However I cannot accept it being placed in Marsaxlokk harbour,” Ciantar said.

He argued that it would have made a lot more sense for everyone involved, including Electrogas, if the tanker had been placed outside the harbour.

Ciantar said that he could not accept that residents of Marsaxlokk were not given the necessary information regarding what were to happen in case of an accident, adding that the people of Marsaxlokk should be allowed to live in peace without fear.

Moreover, he said that it was unacceptable that the only way he could have legitimate concerns heard was by having to go to court on a Saturday afternoon to file a judicial protest. 

On Thursday, together with PN MPs Marthese Portelli and Ryan Callus, Fenech addressed a press conference at the party's headquarters during which the ERA was urged to oppose the tanker's permit.

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Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...