Friends of the Earth (Malta) is reviewing the EIS on the temporary engineered landfills presented by SLR last week and has already noticed serious shortcomings in the study.
Apart from details, the SLR EIS does not properly weigh up all the possible alternatives to the proposed sites, as expected following the EIS’s terms of reference.
The site selection exercise that was accepted by Minister Ninu Zammit was carried out over three days and was conducted by people lacking expertise in heritage and sociological matters.
Heritage Malta has clearly stated that any landfill in the vicinity of the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples is unacceptable.
FOE (Malta) will be reviewing the EIS in its entirety over the coming weeks; but it is already clear that a rapid start on preparing the first cell at Ghallis, with use of all the available excavating resources, still offers a better alternative than temporary landfills for waste from industrial and domestic sources, most particularly when these are sited so close to prime archaeological sites.
The authorities should show responsibility and ensure that a comprehensive study is conducted to weigh up the alternatives to the proposed landfills.