The Malta Environment and Planning Authority has exempted the application for the construction of a pet cemetery and crematorium from an Environmental Planning Statement, according to a notice in Friday’s issue of the Government Gazette.
In exempting a project from an EPS, Mepa has determined that the proposal is unlikely to have any significant environmental impact and the Director of Environment Protection agrees that the proposal does not require such a statement, since the Project Description Statement (PDS) presented as part of the application “has considered the environmental issues in a sufficient manner such that the preparation of an EPS would not add any new information and Mepa has all the necessary information to determine the application”.
The dog and cat cemetery is planned for a site at Ta’ San Ġakbu in Ta’ Qali. According to the notice, the proposed development will include an incineration facility fuelled by gas. This will operate at a temperature in excess of 1,100°C, ensuring complete combustion and no emission of hazardous gases.
According to Mepa, no significant impact is envisaged during the construction phase, given the scale of the proposed buildings.
“With respect to the operations of the incinerator facilities, and given that it is expected the facility will be strictly processing animal carcasses with no risk of infection, no significant environmental impact is envisaged. Furthermore, operations are unlikely to lead to any significant emissions to air, so impact will be of little or no significance, due to the incinerator’s specifications and secondary burning process.”
There is no concern over the generation of waste, either. As Mepa explained: “The impact arising from the amount of waste generated during the construction phase is not considered significant. The pet cemetery is not likely to have a significant environmental effect, given that no solid waste will be generated. Any ash remains would need to be disposed of in line with the provisions of the Waste Regulations, 2011.”
Although construction-related spillages may result from the project, Mepa has found that “these are expected to be of minor or no significance given that any spillages can be mitigated through the proper application of appropriate mitigation measures identified in the Environmental Management Construction Site Regulations, 2007”.
It adds: “Impacts during operation are expected to be of little or no significance given that risks of contamination of land or water from such releases are likely to be remote.”
According to a planning application presented by the Environment Ministry, a 1,700 square metre agricultural field has been identified for the development of a dog and cat cemetery that will provide niches for the ashes of 17,000 dogs and cats.
The provision of an animal cemetery was proposed in the Labour Party’s manifesto before the last general election.