The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) Board has granted environmental permits which will allow 10 quarries in the limits of Mqabba, Siġġiewi and Iklin to accept inert, construction and demolition waste, for disposal.

One of these sites has also been permitted to accept clean waste for recycling purposes.

The move should ease pressure on developers during the unprecedented construction boom.

A year ago, the Malta Developers’ Association argued that quarry owners should be given short-term fiscal incentives for accepting construction waste.

Read: Quarry owners need fiscal incentives to accept construction waste - MDA

At the time, Environment Minister Jose Herrera had warned that the government would issue a legal notice to requisition the quarry volume for construction waste - for which quarry owners will be compensated, adding that the Environment Resources Authority would suspend the licences of those who refused to accept construction waste without a valid reason.

The threat was repeated by Dr Herrera two weeks ago, prompting howls of protest from the MDA.

Read: Developers object to minister's quarry warning

What actually happened was that the fiscal incentive requested by the MDA was offered just two days later: a legal notice dated June 28 said that quarries which were paid no more than €5.50 per tonnes would be able to claim a tax credit of 25 per cent of the gross fees paid.

The permits come with conditions attached, obliging operators to adhere with parameters on the quality of material that may be accepted at these sites, waste acceptance procedures, the control of mud and debris from the site operations, and other operational requirements.

These permits also come with monitoring obligations, which operators are to fulfil throughout the validity of the permits. Operators will need to submit a bank guarantee to cover compliance with their environmental obligations.

All documents will be made available online here once the permit has been validated through the payment of the bank guarantee.  


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