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The end for refinery? Capital is going green 

Long-awaited work to dismantle the oil refinery in Santa Cruz, the subject of much pollution debate, will begin in the first quarter of 2019.

The historic date was revealed during a meeting between the Mayor of the city, José Manuel Bermúdez and the CEO of Cepsa , Pedro Miró, in order to follow up on the Santa Cruz Verde 2030 (Santa Cruz Green 2030) agreement.

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Canary Islands Govern-ment, Blanca Pérez; councillor of the Cabildo de Tenerife Alberto Bernabé and coun-cillor of Town Planning, Carlos Tarife. Technicians of the company Cepsa, of the Vice-Ministry of Environment and, on the municipal side, the manager of Urbanism and those responsible for the direction of the legal services of this body and its technical direction were present.

Sr. Bermudez explained at the end of the meeting that the Deputy Ministry and Cepsa reported on the progress made in the technical meetings held by both parties in relation to the remediation (deconta-mination) and dismantling of the facilities and that Cepsa expressed the possibility of initiating the first work in the first semester of 2019.

During the meeting, actions carried out by the company before the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Ministry of Industry of the Government of the Canary Islands and the Ministry of Industry for the administrative cessation of the refining activity and the transition to the storage parks were explained. This step is essential to start the dismantling work.

Representatives of the Port Authority will be included in the next follow-up meetings.

Another issue addressed was the active participation of the University of La Laguna, through its Cepsa chair, to carry out research projects aligned with the objectives of the Santa Cruz Verde 2030 plan.

Both the mayor and those responsible for Town Planning of the Corporation detailed the schedule foreseen by the City Council for the proposal and approval of the new General Plan of Ordination (PGO).

Sr. Bermúdez announced the creation of a technical subcommittee – made up of representatives of Cepsa and the Planning Department – that will give continuity to the work that will allow the organisation of this land in the PGO.

The mayor reiterated that any transfer of land will be subject to what the laws mark and noted that neither in the agreement signed with Cepsa nor in the decree issued in this regard does any reference to the categorisation of land, as implied by the PSOE.

“The City Council will scrupulously comply with the urban legality in everything related to land use,” said Sr. Bermúdez, who recalled that the fundamental objective of the agreement signed with Cepsa – and this is recorded verbatim – is the “cooperation between both parties for the regeneration of the area that currently occupies the CEPSA refinery in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, achieving a more balanced and sustainable city by creating a large system of open spaces in the land it currently occupies, to promote an urban renewal of the aforementioned space, replacing the current industrial use by others of a residential, tourist, commercial or even dotational nature, or a combination of them that complement the recreational uses of the area “.

In relation to the alleged presentation of an admi-nistrative contentious appeal, the City is waiting to hear in writing the arguments that are raised in it to request, then, a legal report that clarifies the aspects of this eventual appeal.