José García, long-time vice president of the League for the Defense of Natural Heritage (Depana), has for years sent documentation to the European Union warning of the degradation of the natural area protected by the Natura 2000 Network of La Ricarda, until the opening of a file from the European Commission to Spain in 2013 that may end up in the European Court of Justice.
The complaint dates back to 2002, when the previous expansion of the Barcelona Airport was planned, and now the same area has caused political disagreements that have led to the freezing of plans for a new jump in the size of El Prat to attract more intercontinental flights.
García defends La Ricarda with the determination of those who, as a child, bathed in its waters and climbed its pines as the son of a military man assigned to the barracks located in said space, a few hundred meters from the lagoon that he claims as the best space preserved from the Delta del Llobregat. He flatly refuses to destroy it in the name of economic progress, which he sees as feasible with better infrastructure management.
Do you think expanding El Prat is compatible with preserving La Ricarda?
I have a family who are air traffic controllers, because in El Prat many people are linked to the airport, and they say that the key is to improve management, distributing flights throughout the day. And the 1,700 million I do not know who is going to see them, because until 2026 only 300 something are expected, and a lot can happen in this time. None of the politicians now active will see them, because with the tensions that exist, they will not hold. And they have been talking about an intercontinental hub for decades, but for that you have to convince the airlines. Will they do it now that things are worse and that the cake is already distributed in Madrid, London, Frankfurt and Paris?
How did the previous extension of El Prat affect the natural space?
The third track and T-1 eliminated part of the coastal pine forest declared habitat of priority interest according to European regulations, eliminated an area of marshes and changed the course of groundwater, which is what most degraded the quality of the water in the lagoon , which was created 300 years ago due to a natural change in the mouth of the Llobregat. To compensate for this, measures were proposed that have not been applied, so the environment began to degrade and biodiversity fell. In addition, bird populations decreased, scared off by the proximity of the airport and its security systems such as falconers. All this now puts Spain’s position in trouble. For years, Brussels has been sending warning letters to the Generalitat – the holder of environmental competences – and also to Aena and the State, but if they send another one, It will be the reasoned opinion that goes directly to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. We will try by all means.
What has been breached?
They have built car parks in protected areas for birds, they have not protected areas that they announced, they have not built biological corridors that they promised … Now it is no longer enough to do what was promised 20 years ago, and it is a legal obligation to recover the area. It is not irreversible if sufficient measures are applied.
Who has to do it?
There are actions that correspond to Aena because it did not do them, and others to the Generalitat, such as requesting the protection of new areas. Aena proposes to compensate with five times more land than would be directly affected, but it cannot do so, since the competence belongs to the Generalitat. In addition, it proposes protecting areas that it already promised in 2002, such as the one that includes an old golf course. It is an area that should have been restored 20 years ago because it is a biological corridor. It cannot be that Aena wants to fix what she did wrong 20 years ago and that this will help her destroy new areas. The European Commission is not going to accept that, and I say it because I have direct contacts.
Even if the airport is not expanded, climate change could end La Ricarda before the end of the century due to the rise in sea level?
Like the Ebro Delta and Barcelona itself? it is a problem for the entire Mediterranean coastline.
But to what extent is it worth fighting for an area that will be under water in 30 years?
With my age, it already covers me, and the problem will be at the airport itself. Now La Ricarda serves as a water outlet area in case of heavy rains, which are also a consequence of climate change. Eliminating wet spots can be a shot in the foot, or higher, for the airport.
How long can the 2013 file take to finalize?
It depends on the desire to solve it. Reluctantly, you can go to court in a year or two. You will most likely continue to procrastinate, but there will be no more than a three-year margin for a sentence. And if the judicialization process is open, the European Commission will not give permission for a new extension. First they have to correct and recover the area, and that is years. Now the one who has more interest in having the complaint closed is Aena, because she is a stick in the wheel.
How much can failure to comply with the above compensation cost Spain?
The worst thing is an economic fine to the State, but it also has an impact on the Next Generation European funds for actions in the Delta del Llobregat, which there are many and which could be paralyzed in the short term.
What kind of performances?
These are infrastructure projects, which we will inform the European Commission if they are chosen to receive community funds, such as the new road and rail accesses to the Port of Barcelona from the south, which have a negative effect on the Delta del Llobregat. They affect an area that should be protected but is not, as part of the new course of the Llobregat river, by judgment of the European Court, with established jurisprudence, and by the birds directive. The environmental impact study that was done in 2007 is not worth it, you have to do a new one and give the relevant compensation, as is done everywhere.
Florida Congressman Supports ‘Natural Immunity Is Real Act’ – Latest Push Opposing Vaccine Mandates
Florida Congressman Daniel Webster has co-sponsored a bill — called Natural Immunity is Real Act — introduced by Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger. The bill is the latest push against vaccine mandates by federal health officials as it requires federal agencies to take into account naturally acquired immunity from previous COVID-19 infections when issuing any rules or regulations aimed at protecting from the deadly virus.
What is Natural Immunity Is Real Act?
A group of House Republicans launched the Natural Immunity is Real Act on Monday, Click Orlando reported.
According to Webster, he is supporting the bill because peer-reviewed studies and federal health experts acknowledged that those who have recovered from COVID-19 have natural immunity protection.
Webster also said that the bill is just a way of saying that there are other options for protecting the people against the virus than just the vaccine.
The Florida Congressman also said that though he endorses and supports the COVID-19 vaccines, he is openly against vaccine mandates and federal regulators must accept other protections from the virus.
“This is not anti-vaccine, [it’s] just a realization that there are other things going on out there and we have to accept there are other immunities from having the disease,” he was cited as saying by the outlet.
Members Of Medical Community Oppose The Bill
Pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Akinyemi Ajayi expressed his disagreement over the bill.
“Here is the problem with the whole natural immunity argument, and it’s the fact that quite frankly today none of us can look you in the eye if you have not been infected with COVID at all and say if you get COVID it will be a mild infection you don’t have to worry about it,” Ajayi said.
Ajayi added that even though some natural immunity protections are developed from a repeat infection, it is unclear how long the protection lasts. He believes that there is provable way to identify natural immunity.
The bill introduced, however, does not include details of how the natural immunity will be identified.
The Natural Immunity Is Real Act has already been introduced in the senate, the same week that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a request for a special session over vaccine mandates.
Florida Man Faces $50 Daily Fine Over Hanging ‘Trump Won’ Banner Outside His Home
A Florida man faces a $50 daily fine for displaying a banner outside his home that reads “Trump has won,” a reference to the former Republican President Donald Trump.
Plans to Place ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Banner
Part-time resident Marvin Peavy will be charged by the Walton County, Florida, a $50 daily fine beginning on Oct. 25 if he doesn’t take down the banner from outside of his home, Newsweek reported.
Peavy said he also plans to install a banner that says “Let’s Go Brandon,” which is a phrase the conservatives have mixed with “F*ck you, Joe Biden,” — a clear insult to President Joe Biden.
According to the county, the part-time resident’s banner violates signage regulation in Peavy’s home at the 30A scenic corridor. The corridor is also a part of a beachside route, famous for its natural beauty.
As per the county’s legal code, political signages must be removed 15 days after political campaigns conclude.
Further, Peavy’s banner, according to county officials, also violates a section of the code prohibiting homes from putting up “(s)treamers, feather flags, pennants, ribbons, spinners and other similar devices” that might undermine the corridor’s natural beauty.
According to Northwest Florida Daily News, Peavy has no plans of taking the banner down, saying that he can easily pay the fine and others offered to pay it on his behalf.
But his attorney told Charles Cronin, Walton County Code Enforcement Officer, that Peavy knows of the violation and would take the banner down soon, the report said.
Peavy Defends Himself: ‘How Many Trumps Do You Know?’
The display of the banner is to annoy “seaside liberals” and “the 1 percent leftists,” Peavy was quoted as saying by Newsweek. Peavy has also claimed that the banner may indicate Trump’s self-proclaimed golfing championships and not the recent election.
He also stated that the banner may refer to others, not the former president, asking, “How many Trumps do you know?” The banner is also “just a statement” for Peavy, and “not political,” the report said.
He is set to sue the county for breaching his First Amendment Right.
Peavy’s Financial Support To Trump During 2020 Election
Back in the 2020 campaign season, Peavy had donated more than $9,000 to different Trump and Republican-related groups, according to the records from the Federal Election Commission.
Florida Gov. DeSantis Threatens Biden Administration With Lawsuit Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to sue the Biden administration over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
His comments came during a press conference Thursday on the monoclonal antibody treatments that he worked on to have it more accessible in the state.
DeSantis: I Think Mandate Is Going To Lose In Court
At the press conference, DeSantis said that he thinks that the mandate is going to lose in court. He added that Florida would contest any such mandate from the Biden administration “immediately,” and that any lawsuits from the state would be filed in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Fox News reported.
The governor also stated that the state would fight “immediately” any mandates of such that would be given by the Biden administration. He also added that any lawsuit from Florida would be filed in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We think the state of Florida has standing to do it…We also know businesses that we’re going to work with to contest it,” the governor said.
DeSantis also mentioned that the state has a responsibility at a state level to do anything to protect its constituents from mandates that would affect them such as losing their jobs.
DeSantis Vs Biden
De Santis and President Joe Biden have different stand regarding vaccine and mask mandates. The latter, soon after taking office, issued a mask mandate on federal grounds while DeSantis banned mask mandates in the state of Florida.
In the previous month, Biden had announced that all businesses that have over At a hundred workers would have to vaccinate their employees or conduct weekly testing. The announcement included the mandate that employers must pay their employees for the time they spent off work getting the vaccine and recovering from any side effects.
Vaccination Rates In The U.S.
The country has already administered 407 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, 189 million or about 57% are fully vaccinated while nearly 218 million or 66% have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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