- A review completed by the Integrated Environmental Authorization (AAI) for the thermal plant that was agreed to by the Environmental Commission of the Balearic Islands contradicts regulations, alleges the environmental organization.
The International Institute for Law and the Environment (IIDMA) has filed a lawsuit before the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the High Court of Justice for the Balearic Islands regarding the thermal power plant, Es Murterar’s, authorized emissions.
This facility, located in the municipality of Alcúdia (Mallorca Island), is used to produce electricity by burning coal. The plant generates nitrogen oxides (NOx), a group of gases in which prolonged exposure can affect the immune system and cause irreversible changes in lung tissue. In addition, its impact on the environment has a detrimental impact on air pollution, as it plays a major role in the formation of photochemical smog.
The lawsuit, which has already been admitted for processing, is directed specifically against the Agreement of the Plenary of the Environmental Commission of the Balearic Islands that granted the revision of the Integrated Environmental Authorization of the thermal power plant. In accordance with this Agreement, the existing emission limit values for the pollutants emitted into the atmosphere by the thermal power plants in Alcúdia, were revised alongside others. IIDMA alleges that the authorized emissions for nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid do not comply with current environmental regulations, thus allowing the plant to emit more than it should by law. It considers that the appealed Agreement contradictory to law and requests the correct enforcement of emission limits.
IIDMA lawyer, Carlota Ruiz-Bautista explains, “Complying with environmental legislation is essential to protect the environment. The purpose of this action is to ensure that the correct values outlined in European and national regulations are applied, preventing the plant from emitting more than it should.” IIDMA environmental engineer, Massimiliano Patierno states, “Given the context of the climate and environmental emergency where we find ourselves, we consider it a priority to ensure that the significant sources of atmospheric pollution operate in line with current legislative requirements.”
Law in service of the environment
This is not the first time that IIDMA has relied on the law to fight for the protection of the environment during the process of energy transition in Spain. In October last year, IIDMA succeeded in getting the Balearic Government to lower their permitted emissions at the Son Rues thermal power plant through an appeal for reconsideration. Likewise, last May, the Supreme Court upheld an appeal filed by IIDMA concerning discharges from the Soto de Ribera thermal power plant into the river Nalón (Asturias).
IIDMA has been actively working for the elimination of coal as a source of electric production in Spain since 2013. In recent years, they have published studies on the effects of coal-fired power plants on the health of citizens, have worked for the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition to include the obligation for companies to develop climate action plans, have participated in shareholder meetings of major energy companies with the aim of promoting their decarbonization plans, and have analyzed the situation of sectors-such as banking and insurance companies-to promote specific actions in the fight against climate change.