[WATCH] Cabinet to discuss land reclamation in the coming weeks, Jose Herrera says

The Environment Minister says land reclamation is no longer the elephant in the room

Jose Herrera will be presenting Cabinet with a report on land reclamation that will also identify the ideal sites
Jose Herrera will be presenting Cabinet with a report on land reclamation that will also identify the ideal sites
Cabinet to discuss land reclamation

A proposal on the ideal sites to be considered for land reclamation will be presented to Cabinet in the coming weeks, Jose Herrera said.

The document is drawn up by the Environment and Resources Authority and will delve into the various impacts of land reclamation from the sea.

The Environment Minister said he will be having the final presentation made to him by ERA this week.

“For me, land reclamation is no longer the elephant in the room… in the coming weeks the document will be presented to Cabinet,” Herrera told MaltaToday.

He insisted land reclamation was not a means to create “cheap real estate or towers”, which is why the proposal is being fronted by the environment ministry.

“If the country decides to go for land reclamation, because nothing is cast in stone, the environmental aspect will be prioritised… but such a project will also have to have an economic and commercial dimension,” Herrera added.

A draft document prepared by ERA last December was leaked to MaltaToday. The report had identified a vast stretch of sea area between Portomaso and Xgħajra as ideal for large scale land reclamation, and several other sites, such as Qaliet Marku in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq and the Freeport, as ideal for small scale projects.

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The report’s conclusions were based on the least damaging options to the environment.

The issue of land reclamation rose again recently after quarries that receive construction waste increased dumping fees.

The industry, which is passing through a boom has warned of a crisis unless the issue of where to dump waste is not resolved.

While there are a number of quarries licensed to receive construction waste, only two are currently in operation.

Many in the industry believe that land reclamation could offer a longer-term solution.

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