After a great volume of complaints from Birżebbuġa residents regarding continual smoke from ships’ funnels, residents have now drawn the attention of TVM to smoking chimneys from factories in the vicinity of Ħal Far.
One particular factory drawing attention is that of Asfaltar that produces tarmac. Smoke is being experienced frequently sometimes clear smoke but sometimes darkened.
Technical sources that TVM spoke to said the smoke being emitted is probably laden with dust produced by gravel when it is being melted to be mixed with tar to produce tarmac. The chimneys are supposed to be filtered to prevent emissions of this quantity.
From a Parliamentary Question made last February regarding the Birżebbuġa atmosphere, Environmental Minister Jose’ Herrera said that during 2018 ERA had tested the quality of air in the area and this conformed to the level of pollution permitted.
In a document that was tabled the levels of nitrogen dioxides and benzene detailed the emissions and both were below the levels permitted.
However, the levels of other pollutants were not included although these are included and stipulated by the EU Commission including fine powder (PM2.5), flint dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxides.
Earlier this week TVM asked ERA who levels of NO2 and Benzene were being calculated but not other pollutants.
Today, Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia said she requested Minister Herrera to request an investigation as area residents continued to maintain this pollution is affecting their health.
This week ERA announced that it is to begin imposing on medium combustion plants to obtain the necessary permission for operation according to the level of emissions they generate.
New regulations for fuel-burning plants
WATCH: Continuous smoke emissions from ships upset Birzebbugia residents