The ESG has recently been discussing the threat of a potential new Refinery in the Bay with Spanish Environmental groups and concerned citizens.
Public statements by the acting Foreign Minister Margallo, most recently today, shows a total lack of understanding of the impact the existing petrochemical industry has had on the health of bay residents and the living environment. This is a cross border health and environment issue of considerable magnitude.
The Bay forms part of a "triangle of higher mortality in the Iberian Peninsula, as identified by Professor Benach and his team of the University of Pompeu Barcelona. His studies proved that more people were dying sooner and of serious diseases in these three provinces than elsewhere in Spain. The links to heavy industrialised zones in these three areas were also undeniable.
The policy implications of Benach studies were for urgent investigation into the causes of higher mortality, which resulted in a very high public health burden.
A report produced by the Seville University investigated the links between health and pollution and pulled together existing research in a comprehensive and well-explained document – see: http://www.esg-gib.net/wp-content/uploads/documents/Health-Bulletin-Seville-University-2009.pdf
Furthermore studies have emerged over the years highlighting the impact from industry on the bays marine environment - eg http://rnm160.uca.es/docs-del-grupo/revistas/68014
All these studies, coupled with citizens experiences and cross border campaigns and protests, strongly indicate that what the area needs is a widespread clean up of industrial emissions to highest standards, and a moratorium on further expansion. Not new refineries.