Land reclamation decision informed by €11 million seabed study

Environment Minister Jose Herrera says a study of Malta’s seabed has indicated five or six locations where reclamation can take place

Jose Herrera will present Cabinet with a proposal for land reclamation in five or six sites in the coming two weeks
Jose Herrera will present Cabinet with a proposal for land reclamation in five or six sites in the coming two weeks

There are five or six locations where land reclamation is possible and causes least environmental damage, according to a topographic study of the seabed.

Environment Minister Jose Herrera said that the €11 million study of the sea around Malta forms the basis for a proposal he will be putting before Cabinet in the next two weeks.

He was speaking on Wednesday evening on TVM’s Dissett, presented by Reno Bugeja.

Land reclamation has been on the government’s agenda since 2013 but no concrete proposals have been put forward.

Herrera had tasked the Environment and Resources Authority to identify those areas where land reclamation is possible.

A leaked document seen by MaltaToday last year had indicated broad areas where land reclamation would be least environmentally damaging.

Asked to identify the specific locations where land reclamation could take place, Herrera said he preferred to wait for the report to be approved by Cabinet. The report will then be published for public consultation.

“There are five or six sites where reclamation is possible and environmentally safe,” the minister said, without elaborating.

In a friendly dig towards fellow Cabinet member Ian Borg, the Environment Minister said waste was the biggest challenge the country was facing.

“The challenge is bigger than roads,” he said. When the presenter quipped that he did not have €700 million to spend, Herrera replied: “No, I don’t have €700 million. I wish I had because I would use them.”

Herrera said the tenders for the waste incinerator at Magħtab will be issued next month. 

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