FAA condemns PA decision over Gharb fireworks factory approval

The NGO said that the PA ignored all warnings of land conservation and environmental value

The valley in which the proposed fireworks factory is to be built
The valley in which the proposed fireworks factory is to be built

Environmental NGO Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) has criticised the Planning Authority’s (PA) decision to approve the construction of another fireworks factory in the locality of Gharb in Gozo. 

FAA said that the location chosen is in the same area as other fireworks factories, with two devastating explosions in 2010 and 2012 claiming 10 lives. 

According to the eNGO, a referendum was held among the residents, with over 60% voting against the introduction of more “deadly factories”.

FAA lamented on how the PA and the government are ignoring their, and the peoples’ will. 

“FAA asks how the Planning Authority can so brazenly ignore the will of the people to protect themselves against the real threat that firework factories pose, and then go on to claim that it acts on behalf of the same community when its callous decisions are directly putting their lives at risk,” the statement read. 

The eNGO said that after ignoring all warnings, the government and PA cannot but be held responsible for the further loss of life that may strike again. 

According to the statement, the site lies within a Special Area of Conservation, a factor ignored by the PA when approving the permit. 

“In 2009, MEPA had refused an application for the construction of a 20-square-metre agricultural store, yet now it allowed a 5,000 square-metre fireworks factory on the same site, within a few hundred metres of residences and of San Dimitri chapel which was recently restored,” the statement claimed. 

FAA also called for the University of Malta Chemistry Department to publish studies on the pollutant and carcinogenic effects fireworks residue may have on the land and air.

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