The residents of Huertos de Miró in Reus want to know more about the contamination of La Hispania

The residents of the Horts de Miró neighborhood in Reus want to "know more" about the contamination of some sectors of La Hispània. For this reason, from the neighborhood association (AV) they have begun to ask for help from environmental organizations to find out. “We learned from the press and from the complaint made by the CUP of Reus that the subsoil of the land could be contaminated,” says the president of the AV of the Horts de Miró neighborhood, Pilar Flamenco.

At the moment, by the City Council, "nothing has come to us." The consistory promised in the municipal plenary session in October –following a motion from the cupaires– that it would inform them of that and that it would manage the pollution supervised by the Agència Catalana de Residus (ACR). At the moment, even so, the calendar of when these information rounds would begin is unknown.

From the neighborhood association, "what we have done, for now, has been to turn to the Grup d'Estudi i Protecció dels Ecosistemes Catalans-Ecologistes de Catalunya (GEPEC-EdC)" and they say they are "open" to receiving information. Flamenco also makes it known that they have sent an email to the environmental entity to hold a meeting, "to inform us more deeply about the environmental impact that this pollution can mean." The neighborhood representative adds, on the other hand, that in the neighborhood "there are not many neighbors who are aware of the situation, there is no social alarm", for the record, "since there are even those who do not know the limits of the neighborhood itself and, therefore, if they have heard of the contamination, they do not relate it to the neighbourhood».

Flamenco explains that Horts de Miró borders on the open-air car park in the 'Riera Miró' fee area, which overlooks the Riera d'Aragó and is close to the Riera de Miró. This area, whose contamination was denounced by the CUP at the beginning of this October to the ACR, the old depots of the La Hispània bus company were located some time ago. There it is planned that a municipal parking lot with three underground floors and 60 officially protected homes will be built. “The results of reports from this area directly link the contamination with the remains of car batteries, the object of work of the company that was previously there,” said the councilor of the CUP of Reus, Mònica Pàmies, when the municipal group left for the first time to publicly denounce the contamination.

The anti-capitalist councilor added, at that time, that there was even data on "the presence of lead that goes from values ​​of 20 to 800 and the people with whom we work are experts and subcontracted companies." Pàmies argued that the responsibility lies with the former Hispània and that if the City Council "knows, it should inform the Generalitat, and if appropriate, denounce it."

Along these lines, the CUP urged the City Council to stop the work on the La Hispània car park, because "it contains a high risk to the health of the neighbourhood". "There are reports unfavorable to the execution of the underground car park," insisted Pàmies. Even the councilor of the CUP, Edgar Fernández, pointed out that "even Transports Metropolitans de Tarragona issued a negative report."

At that time, municipal sources defended that the City Council "scrupulously follows the regulatory steps for the future management of waste linked to the La Hispània car park." They admitted, on the other hand, that there were studies that identified "polluting materials in a very localized area." "Before the works - the same sources continued - it will be necessary to carry out a quantitative analysis of the risk". "Waste management is included in the budget and the project continues, as planned," municipal sources concluded.

"Neighborhood in Danger"

On what was exposed by the government, the anti-capitalists stressed the importance of assuming responsibilities. «The dangerous thing is that the subsoil is intervened and the decontamination has to be done by the owner, by law. This does not mean that the City Council does not go against the cause," said Councilor Pàmies in a public appearance, also in October. Said intervention was carried out in the open-air car park of La Hispània in question, and members of the CUP hung protesting posters, whose slogans were 'neighborhood in danger' and 'contaminated area'. The CUP reported, also at that time, that its complaint filed with the ACR had been admitted for processing and that the body "has sanctioning power, it will call on the town hall to decontaminate."

The City Council previously expressed that it planned waste management, but Councilor Pàmies questioned it: "It is not contemplated in the earthmoving item." The pro-independence councilor added that "our environmental lawyer discovered that the City Council was aware of the report in which this contamination was recorded since 2020."

As a reminder, in the October plenary session, the CUP brought a motion to the plenary in which it asked, among other things, to stop the works on the La Hispània car park, which did not prosper. Instead, other agreements they proposed did obtain the government's commitment: to inform the neighbors and manage the pollution.

On the refusal to stop the works, the Councilor for Urban Planning, Marina Berasategui, stated that "we cannot stop them, because we have passed all the bidding phases." «We were aware of the environmental aspect, since years ago the old depots of La Hispània were located there and the waste management of then is not what it is now. For this reason, we carried out a prospective study of the soil and, for transparency, we attached the pertinent studies as documentation attached to the project, which is of a public nature”, added Berasategui.

The councilor for Urbanisme assured that they would go through the stages of the decontamination protocol and Pàmies objected that "that does not reassure us, it is not seen in any document, broken down, that decontamination that they say they are going to do." "The government knew since 2020 that the s4 sector and part of the s3 were contaminated and did not notify the ACR, which shows a lack of transparency," Pàmies argued. The CUP councilor urged the City Council to "delimit the contaminated area, because until that is quantified, the amount of decontamination cannot be determined."

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