Move­ment over the mine plan

IU deputy re­ports the prospec­tion ap­pli­ca­tion to Europe

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News - Nperez@cb­

By Nuria Pérez THE AREA to prospect for gyp­sum in San Miguel de Sali­nas – which res­i­dents feared could lead to the open­ing of an open-cast mine – is to be dra­mat­i­cally re­duced by the re­gional govern­ment to pro­tect the fu­ture Sierra Escalona nat­u­ral park.

Lo­cal coun­cil­lor for en­vi­ron­ment María José Costa Me­drano re­vealed the news on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a meet­ing with the re­gional coun­cil­lor for the econ­omy, Rafael Cli­ment. Sra Costa told Costa Blanca News that the re­gional depart­ment has pro­duced a bind­ing re­port ban­ning any re­search for min­ing pur­poses in the pro­tected site and lim­it­ing any such ac­tiv­ity to ‘just two or three ar­eas’.

“The area is so small that we feel prospect­ing would not be of in­ter­est to the com­pany in­volved,” she said.

“We are op­ti­mistic and think any such scheme would not get the fi­nal go-ahead.”

Pres­i­dent of San Miguel Ar­cán­gel res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion, Manuel Gómez said one of ar­eas which has not been ex­cluded from the scheme, is very close to homes at Las Filip­inas, Mi­rador del Mediter­rá­neo and Ci­u­dad de las Co­mu­ni­ca­ciones and stands next to the Camino de la Balsa road.

Ac­cord­ing to Sr Gómez, the other area runs from the road to Tor­re­mendo to the CV-95 to Vista­bella, En­tre­naran­jos and Los Mon­tesinos.

“Any project in th­ese ar­eas might not have an im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, but it would have an im­pact on the prop­er­ties,” he said.

“The ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dure is on-go­ing and the fight is not over un­til the fi­nal re­port ban­ning the scheme has been is­sued, which should be be­fore Fe­bru­ary.”

He an­nounced that a meet­ing in Span­ish and English will be held in the com­ing days to up­date res­i­dents and stressed that fur­ther protest ac­tion is planned to make the re­gional govern­ment aware of res­i­dents’ op­po­si­tion to the scheme.

At the same time, Sra Me­drano said that an­other re­port is pend­ing re­gard­ing the im­pact on the land­scape from the re­gional depart­ment for land and hous­ing.

More­over, the re­gional depart­ment for econ­omy, which has the fi­nal say, has to de­cide whether to heed nu­mer­ous ob­jec­tions to the scheme from San Miguel de Sali­nas and Ori­huela coun­cils, landown­ers and the res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion.

Re­port to the EU The gyp­sum project was re­ported to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment last week by United Left (IU) MEP Ma­rina Al­biol.

Sra Al­biol noted that the ap­pli­ca­tion to prospect for gyp­sum was it­self a risk for the Sierra Escalona and that the scheme did not ad­here to sev­eral EU en­vi­ron­men­tal di­rec­tives.

“It makes no sense that the re­gional en­vi­ron­ment depart­ment will award pro­tected sta­tus to the Sierra Escalona and the re­gional depart­ment for econ­omy could sup­port such a dam­ag­ing scheme in the area,” she said.

María José Costa Me­drano

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