Smoke at Il-Bal­lut ta’ Wied Hazrun

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

A reader writes:

I have just con­tacted the ERA to re­port cases of burn­ings with thick black smoke and toxic odour which has been go­ing on for some weeks, on and off, at the area known as Bal­lut ta’ Wied Hazrun, Lim­its of Ra­bat - an en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive zone lo­cated in a valley out­side Ra­bat.

The Bal­lut ta’ Wied Hazrun (the holm oak trees of Wied Hazrun) is a Natura 2000 pro­tected area.

The smoke is a great in­con­ve­nience to the farm­ing peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing here, and is caus­ing air pol­lu­tion, a mat­ter of con­cern in terms of public health and en­vi­ron­ment. The pur­pose of the burns in such an area is un­clear.

In the early 1990s, the Bal­lut ta’ Wied Hazrun had al­ready suf­fered ir­re­versible dam­age in burn­ings which at the time was specif­i­cally di­rected at the holm oak trees and the case had been taken up by high au­thor­i­ties in Malta.

To­day, I spoke to Mr. Stan­ley Gatt at the ERA, who was po­lite and co­op­er­a­tive and who as­sured me that he will in­spect the area to­day.

I be­lieve that the author­ity should es­tab­lish what is the pur­pose of the on­go­ing burn­ings and what ma­te­ri­als are be­ing used in the burns.

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