11/26/2021 at 10:03 CET
While the Government has approved a first installment of 150 million euros to restore the Mar Menor, the courts have issued a ruling that requires the removal of almost five hectares of illegally planted citrus in a protected area of this lagoon.
The Administrative Litigation Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of the Region of Murcia has ordered the restoration to its natural state of an area of 4.91 hectares of citrus fruits in the Casa de Lo Pereas area, as it is located in an area included in the Law of recovery of the Mar Menor.
The order, which thus dismisses the precautionary measure requested by the agricultural merchant that owns the lemon trees and does not suspend the order of February 8 of the Ministry of the Environment that required the restitution of the plot to its natural state, giving a period of 2 months for the presentation of the project for restitution of the land and setting the maximum execution period at 6 months.
The Court warns that the restitution to its natural state is obliged for having carried out, without authorization from the hydrographic confederation, a private use of water in lands that are in Zone 1 of Decree-Law 2/2019, for the integral protection of the Mar Menor and of Law 3/2020, for the recovery and protection of the Mar Menor.
Specifically, it recalls that, by Resolution of the Segura Hydrographic Confederation, of October 2019, “a fine of 3,000 euros for private use of public waters without authorization / concession& rdquor ;.
The Chamber does not share the irreparable damages of the start that the owners of the citrus fruits argue, and reminds them that they have been prohibited from irrigating for two years, considering “generic & rdquor; and “without support in any data & rdquor; the claim that the plantation does not pollute.
The company justice in its appeal that “the existing trees help to retain the waters and the different elements that they drag, preventing them from going to the town of Los Nietos and finally to the Mar Menor & rdquor ;, but the court indicates that this is to reduce the pollution caused by nutrients of agricultural origin and their effect on the existing protected areas in the Mar Menor and its surroundings, “currently seriously deteriorated & rdquor ;, underlines the resolution.
The Chamber considers “prevailing compliance with the sectoral regulations on water matters, and, fundamentally, the protection of the Mar Menor, against the particular interest of the appellant in continuing to maintain an exploitation when, by a firm resolution of the competent water authority, irrigation has been prohibited for the plot because it is not protected by a right to use water & rdquor ;.
The Court also imposes the payment of the costs to the appellant company. The resolution is not final and there is an appeal against it.
Almost 150 million from the Government for the Mar Menor
This news is known a few days after the Council of Ministers approved the first group of measures for the protection and environmental recovery of the Mar Menor, with an investment of 149.65 million euros for the period 2022 and 2023.
The measures are part of the Priority Actions to recover the Mar Menor, presented on November 4 by the Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, and whose total estimated budget amounts to 382.25 million until 2026.
It is the “largest scheme of actions and investments & rdquor; made by the Ministry “for the recovery of a specific natural enclave & rdquor ;, explains in a statement the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (Miteco).
In addition, the Council of Ministers has decided to declare the recovery works of general interest of the State in view of the “critical situation suffered by the lagoon & rdquor; and with the aim of “starting immediately & rdquor; these projects “to stop and reverse the serious ecological deterioration of the environment & rdquor ;.
As Minister Ribera details in the note, this declaration of general interest “enables coordinated and determined action & rdquor; to achieve the objectives set.
The works included in this first package are the restoration of ecosystems in the perimeter of the Mar Menor and the creation of the Green Belt.
It also includes the restoration of abandoned dangerous mining sites and areas affected by mining; the renaturation of the boulevards and the creation of green corridors; the renovation of the drive of the Rambla del Albujón; and actions for hydrological correction and flood lamination.
The restoration of ecosystems and the renaturation of the boulevards and the creation of green corridors seek to eliminate direct effects and improve the existing biodiversity in order to achieve a “shock absorbing effect”, according to Miteco.
Restoration activities related to mining activities seek to avoid both soil and aquifer contamination and surface runoff from hazardous mining waste.
Finally, the objective of the impulse of the Albujón Rambla is “To reach an operation close to its hydraulic capacity& rdquor ;; while that of the actions of hydrological correction and lamination of floods is to minimize the risk of flooding in the riverside municipalities and avoid the massive entry of nitrates so as not to alter the proportion of fresh and salt water in the lagoon.
It may interest you: Illegal wells are drying up the Mar Menor, Daimiel and Doñana, denounces WWF