No green light for Cimpor

LOULÈ CÂMARA has expressed its intention to refuse the licensing request from Loulé cement factory, Cimpor, to construct premises to begin co-incineration at the plant.

At a meeting held at the câmara last week, interest was shown in an environmental impact study being presented by the company and an environmental impact evaluation being carried by the relevant government departments in order to clarify any risks carried by this project for the general public.

According to an official statement issued by Loulé Câmara: “The possible threat to public health and to the environment posed by this project forms the basis of the position the câmara has chosen to take on this matter.”

It highlights the fact that the reports made by the Instituto do Ambiente, the Environment Institute and Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Algarve (CCDR), the commission for the co-ordination and development of the Algarve region recognised the fact that “the implications in terms of emissions, resulting from the conversion of different types of waste into energy, have not been defined” and that the entities do not rule out eventual risks for human health.

Therefore, the câmara has made it very clear that it is not “acceptable for Cimpor to go ahead with a 12 month experimental phase, which would leave local residents vulnerable to emissions of atmospheric pollutants and other potential risks, whose seriousness for public health, for the environment and for other business activities are unknown”.

The environmental impact study will investigate and evaluate the “probable impacts resulting from co-incineration activities at the plant”, but also the “cumulative effects resultant from the operation of a cement factory and from the extraction activity being undertaken that implies alterations in topographic terms for the land, the implications of which have not been studied”.

At the same time, Loulé Câmara proposes to request the Ministries for the Environment and Economy to carry out an environmental impact evaluation, to take into account such factors as pollution and inconvenience for local residential areas, namely the city of Loulé, as well as the negative repercussions for tourism, the main economic force for the borough and the region.