MEPA orders change to clean up operation at Dwejra
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The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) said that it has today ordered that the clean up operation at Dwejra must continue without any mechanical equipment, by the contractor appointed by the producers of the film ‘Game of Thrones.’ Environment monitors from the Authority today were on site to ensure that the removal of the sand from the site was carried out without causing any damage to the rock surface.
MEPA said that once the manual clearance operation is completed, the Authority can thoroughly assess the environmental impact that the initial mechanical clean up works might have had on the site. Following this assessment, the Authority will use the €15,000 bank guarantee imposed in the permit and/or hold the film producer liable for any further environmental damage.
The bank guarantee, which can be called on demand in part or in full and must be topped up at all times, was one of a number of conditions the Authority imposed on the film production agency for any eventual shortcomings, degradation of the historical and natural environment resulting from wilful or accidental damage and the complete removal and reinstatement of the site to the satisfaction of MEPA.
MEPA wwent on to say that this permit also covered filming to be carried out in eight additional natural and cultural sites, namely Mdina, Fort Ricasoli, Fort St. Elmo, San Anton Palace and Gardens, Verdala Palace, Fort St. Angelo, Fort Manoel, Cittadella and Rdum id-Delli. This latter site was later substituted by a request to film in Mtahleb, which request was refused by Mepa. The producer immediately submitted another application for filming to be carried out in the informal carpark in Mtahleb. This request is still to be considered. No damage has been reported at all the other sites that are being monitored simultaneously.
MEPA concluded by saying that it is important to highlight that while it issues a number of permits for filming to be carried out in cultural and natural sites, the Authority always imposes stringent conditions in such permits to prevent any foreseeable damage to these sites. It is clear that the incumbent is on the film producer to scrupulously abide by these permit conditions. In this case the relevant conditions were not fully observed and the Authority will be holding the film producer responsible for any damages that might have occurred.