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Environment department says new facility poses no dangers

The asphalt production and recycling plant in the Pyrga-Kornos area which was recently authorised by the environmental department, setting off a wave of reaction from local residents, poses no health or environmental threats, the department said on Saturday.

Residents of the area along with monks from the Stavrovouni monastery were due to stage a demonstration on Saturday at 3pm over fears that plans to build the asphalt production and recycling plant will only bring more environmental and health deterioration to the area.

The environmental department asserted that the public and particularly the residents of the area should rest assured that the proposed project, under the terms and preconditions that have been set, has no negative consequences on public health or the environment.

The asphalt production plant in Pyrga-Kornos is proposed to be built within a suitable town planning zone where a licensed quarry is already in operation, the department said.

It added that the environmental studies of projects, which must be submitted by law, are assessed by technocrats and experts of the environmental department, as well as other services involved.

This evaluation of the asphalt plant, the department continued, “has not deviated from the procedures foreseen and the assessment of the wider environmental parameters that make up this project”.

As such, the environmental department said, all opinions and concerns have been taken into consideration, not only regarding the proposed asphalt production plan but also in terms of other licensed activities in the region, which are also a source of concern for local residents.

Local action groups claim that the plant will be situated only 2km from the Pyrga and Kornos communities and from the Stavrovouni monastery, as well as just a few metres away from the Natura 2000 protected area.

The groups have also claimed that the communities of Pyrga and Kornos show increased cases of cancer.
Air pollution will only become worse with the asphalt production and recycling plant, they said, while the consequences of the thousands of tonnes of waste that are dumped in the quarry zone, which is an area of richly-stocked aquifers, are still unclear.

Affected residents have already collected over 12,000 signatures opposing the plans for the construction of the plant, while they claim they have resorted to heightened measures after their efforts to communicate concerns to the relevant state services have been ignored.

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