It seemed to be a case of who had taken the initiative. Pollensa town hall released a statement about a meeting to discuss the problems with contamination in the bay, the Puerto Pollensa hoteliers association having some days previously issued its own statement to say that it had created a working party.
Whoever was taking the lead didn’t really matter. The important point was that Mayor Cifre, the environment councillor, Maria Buades, and the deputy mayor (delegate for Puerto Pollensa), Andrés Nevado, had gathered with others to consider the problems. These others were the hoteliers, restaurants, the yacht club, the leader of the Junts Avançam opposition, Miquel Àngel March, and the ASDEPP association for the defence of Puerto Pollensa. With regard to this latter group, the hoteliers had let it be known that they have no participation in ASDEPP and had not been behind its creation. So, that cleared that up, just in case anyone had been wondering.
Absent from the gathering this week were other opposition parties, and the Alternativa per Pollença wished to therefore make clear that they hadn’t been invited to join the working party. The hoteliers association, the Alternativa stated, should look for consensus, but “they haven’t even contacted us”. Perhaps not, but then how many representatives are needed for a working party? Junts, it might be noted, have been all over the contamination problems in a way that other opposition groups have not been. It was, after all, Junts who presented the proposal for a comprehensive plan to tackle spills and the state of the drainage and sewage system and the torrents. For the benefit of those who had been invited, Tomeu Cifre said that the purpose of the meeting was “to seek solutions and improve the sanitation of Puerto Pollensa”. Which is what everyone would have expected to have been the purpose. The meeting was also so that everyone (who had been invited) could hear about other meetings - ones held with the regional health and environment ministries.
Following the meeting, the mayor said that “we are not only working on improving sanitation and the problem of spills which has existed for many years, but also on undertaking a global analysis of the environment in finding a solution to the deterioration of the bay”. Which sounded not unlike what Junts had been calling for.
The mayor continued: “It is a complex issue that affects various sectors and institutions. Therefore, we must tackle it in the best way, and that entails constant work, which is what we are already doing.” On contamination, Cifre added that “it has not been verified that this is from faecal spills”. The discharges relate to “rainwater which, when coming from the streets, contains dirt and polluting elements that end up in the pipes”.
“The beaches are completely usable from a bathing point of view and, in general, the water is in line with health parameters required by the regulations. It will be important to propose short, medium and long-term solutions and to involve all the responsible authorities in order to prevent a further deterioration of the bay by planning investment, action and improvement, especially with regard to drainage and the control of anchoring.”
ASDEPP probably aren’t inclined to agree with the mayor about the condition of the water. Earlier this month they published the results of analyses which appeared to indicate a presence of E. coli that was twenty times higher than the recommended level.