EIA for a fuel filling facility for Road Tankers
Enemed Ltd, a company that is responsible for the importation, distribution and wholesale of petroleum products for the inland market, including the aviation sector in Malta, has commissioned Adi Associates to prepare a number of studies for the relocation of the 31st March fuel installation at Birżebbuġa to a site in Has-Saptan, l/o Ħal Għaxaq. The project is driven by Government’s decision to close the 31st March 1979 installation because of its proximity to residential areas and to relocate the fuel storage facilities to the existing underground Ħas-Saptan fuel storage facility. The site will provide a refuelling service for road tankers supplying fuels to service stations throughout Malta. The fuel dispensing station will consist of six loading lanes with three loading arms in each lane supplying different fuels. The proposed day tanks at the facility will receive fuel on a daily basis from the existing underground Ħas-Saptan fuel storage facility via pipelines constructed within a new tunnel linking the existing installation with the new facility.
An access study was initially carried out between April and August 2015. The study assessed the suitability of the access to the proposed fuel filling depot including the Scheme access, as well as the access via the key junction off the arterial Triq Ħal Far. Internal circulation was also considered. Adi Associates used Transoft’s AutoTurn software to undertake swept path analysis. The Study recommended improvements to the access that included widening of the gateway and the introduction of setbacks. The realignment of the junction with Triq Ħal Far was also proposed as well as the widening of the mouth of the junction to accommodate the swept path of turning road tankers.
A PDS was subsequently submitted in September 2015. It provided a detailed description of the proposal, including the mitigation measures planned to reduce environmental risks, such as to the geo-environment, as well as other important environmental mitigation measures, including with regard to waste management and emissions to air. It also included an ecology survey of the site and its surroundings and a broad brush archaeological survey of the area. The PDS also described the alternatives considered in terms of location, layouts, and techniques, and included a Landscape and Visual Amenity Assessment as well as an Environmental Risk Assessment.
Following the submission of the PDS, the Malta Environment & Planning Authority requested the preparation of an EIA. The EIA focused on the proposed construction of the fuel dispensing station in addition to studies on the impact of the proposed development on ecology, agriculture, cultural heritage, geo-environment, landscape and visual amenity, and air quality. Detailed mitigation measures were also recommended for inclusion in the design of the installation.