Authority rejects PN meeting request to discuss gas tanker permit
Next public hearing there will be the 'usual rent-a-crowd'
The Environment and Resources Authority has rejected a meeting request by the Nationalist Party to discuss the controversial LNG gas tanker permit.
The PN filed its request following a public consultation meeting last month in which, it said, the public's questions remained unanswered.
In a letter, ERA chairman Victor Axiak said that all questions and queries raised during the consultation meeting are being compiled with clarifications and feedback from the authorities and will be made public.
The ERA said it had been agreed that the PN would be able to address the board along with other members of the public at a meeting during which a decision will be taken.
But PN president Ann Fenech rejected the argument and asked how the party could make its objections clearly and in a dignified manner when at the next public hearing there will be the "usual rent-a-crowd".
"How can the board members be expected to absorb and react appropriately in such an environment? We witnessed the hostile environment and complete and utter mayhem that reigned during the last public consultation meeting when notwithstanding the clearly evasive replies of Electrogas, the chairman hurried me along, interrupting and bringing to an abrupt end, an important line of questioning?"
Dr Fenech said the meeting was requested since it was the first time that a permission is being sought to operate a floating storage unit serving as a storage facility from which LNG was continuously pumped onto shore bang in the middle of Marsaxlokk Bay.