MaltaToday, 16 April 2008 | MIDI borehole seeping mud into the sea


NEWS | Wednesday, 16 April 2008

MIDI borehole seeping mud into the sea

James Debono

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) has identified a borehole located on the MIDI project grounds in Tignè, Sliema, as the source of the plume of sludge witnessed in the sea off the Tignè coast.
Residents who reported the case to MEPA three weeks ago claimed that the sludge was the result of construction waste being dumped into the sea. But a spokesperson for MEPA claimed that no dumping of construction material is presently allowed at Tignè.
“The permit for dumping waste at sea has expired and no dumping is currently allowed.” The MEPA spokesperson said that on 27 March, a MEPA inspection revealed that the pollution was being caused by cracks in boreholes located in the MIDI site. “The boreholes were sealed following the inspection,” the spokesperson explained.
Yet just a few days later residents continued making reports backed by photographic evidence showing a plume of sludge on the Tignè coast.
The MEPA spokesperson said the reports are being investigated. He did not exclude that cracks in other boreholes were the source of the latest wave of mud seeping into the sea.
On Thursday MEPA issued a Stop Order to MIDI plc ordering them to take immediate remedial measures. MEPA said the discharges were caused by the testing of boreholes. While MEPA is not objecting to the discharge of any clear brackish water that results from these tests, the discharge of any sediment or of runoff water contaminated by sediments is not permitted.

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