11/26/2021 at 10:03 CET
While the government approved a first tranche of 150 million euros to restore the Mar Menor, the courts have handed down a decision demanding the removal of nearly five hectares of citrus fruit planted illegally in a protected area of this lagoon.
The administrative litigation chamber of the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of the Region of Murcia ordered the restoration to its natural state of an area of 4.91 hectares of citrus in the area of Casa de Lo Pereas, because it is located in an area included in the recovery law of the Mar Menor.
The decree, which thus sets aside the protective measure requested by the agricultural merchant who owns the lemon trees and does not suspend the decree of February 8 of the Ministry of the Environment which demanded the return of the plot to its natural state, giving a period of 2 months for the presentation of the land restitution project and setting the maximum execution period at 6 months.
The Court warns that restitution to its natural state is compulsory for having carried out, without the authorization of the hydrographic confederation, a private use of water on land which is in zone 1 of Decree-Law 2/2019, for the integral protection of the Mar Menor and Law 3/2020, for the recovery and protection of the Mar Menor.
More precisely, it recalls that, by resolution of the Hydrographic Confederation of Segura, 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 damage of the departure that the owners of citrus fruits claim, and reminds them that they have been prohibited from irrigating for two years, considering “generics”. and “without support in any data” the assertion that the plantation does not pollute.
The company ruled in its appeal that “the existing trees help to hold back the waters and the various elements that they entrain, preventing them from getting to the town of Los Nietos and finally to the Mar Menor”, 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”, emphasizes the resolution.
The Chamber considers “that it prevails the respect of the sectorial regulations in water matters and, fundamentally, of the protection of the Mar Menor, against the appellant’s particular interest in continuing to maintain a farm when, by a firm resolution of the competent water administration, irrigation was prohibited for the plot because it was not protected by a right use of water & rdquor ;.
The Court also ordered the payment of 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 the 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 press release the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (Miteco).
In addition, the Council of Ministers decided to declare the recovery works of general interest of the State in view of the “critical situation suffered by the lagoon & rdquor; and in order to “start immediately & rdquor; these projects “to stop and reverse the severe ecological deterioration of the environment”.
As Minister Ribera details in the note, this declaration of general interest “allows coordinated and determined action & rdquor; to achieve the goals 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 dangerous abandoned mine sites and areas affected by mining; the renaturation of the boulevards and the creation of green corridors; the renovation of the alley of the Rambla del Albujón; and actions for hydrological correction and flood stratification.
The restoration of ecosystems and the renaturation of boulevards and the creation of green corridors aim to eliminate the direct effects and improve existing biodiversity in order to obtain a “damping effect”, according to Miteco.
Restoration activities related to mining activities aim to avoid both soil and aquifer contamination and surface runoff from hazardous mine waste.
Finally, the objective of the Albujón Rambla impulse is “To achieve an operation close to its hydraulic capacity& rdquor ;; while that of hydrological correction and flood control actions is to minimize the risk of flooding in neighboring municipalities and avoid the massive entry of nitrates so as not to alter the proportion of fresh and salt water in the river. lagoon.
You may be interested in: Illegal wells dry up the Mar Menor, Daimiel and Doñana, denounces WWF