To the great relief of Oriheula Costa residents, in particular those living in Las Ramblas, the front line in receiving toxic gases from the illegal burning waste tip on the Pilar-Orihuela Costa border, action has been take to seal of the emission of burning waste fumes which have constituted a serious health and environmental danger for many years.
The action to cover the escape of gases with tons of earth and sand has been insisted on by the new environment friendly government in Valencia. They were spurred to do something about this serious health hazard following complaints by local residents, spearheaded by the Las Ramblas Altamira Community, to the Guardia Civil’s environmental protection arm (SEPRONA) which resulted in the issue being taken up by the Environment Protection Prosecutor and being put before the Orihuela courts.
Throughout this two year period the local residents were assisted by C.L.A.R.O. who enlisted the support of the influential action group VERTIVEGA who specialise in denouncing illegal waste tips. C.L.A.R.O working with the President of the Altamira Community initiated and organised Media campaigns, including coverage on a national Spanish television current affairs programme, which ensured that the authorities were obliged to take up the issue.
Sealing the escape of toxic gases is the first step in a lengthy and costly process which will include removing the leakage of contaminated liquids penetrating the ground and endangering the water table and finally addressing the removal of the contents of the tip and restoring the area to its natural state.
C.L.A.RO. and local residents are intent on keeping up the pressure on the relevant authorities to ensure that the illegal tip is rendered safe and no longer threatens the health and environment mainly of Orihuela Costa residents. A Forum, initiated by C.L.A.R.O and the Las Ramblas Altamira Community, is planned for the 17 June in the Las Ramblas golf club from 12 – 2 p.m. at which representatives from the regional government and VERTIVEGA will attend; an invitation is also being sent to the owners of the land who are responsible for restoring the waste tip to legality and we hope they will also be able to attend.
Spanish and English language media will be invited to the Forum which will be open to all those living in Orihuela Costa who have an interest in environmental matters and particularly local residents who have for many years suffered from the obnoxious smells and toxic fumes which have emanated from the illegal waste tip.