Gas project puts Spanish World Heritage Site in danger
03 / 12 / 2014, Panda.org
Gas exploitation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Coto Doñana in Spain could be authorized by the Andalusian government following a claim by Spanish energy company Gas Natural-Fenosa. WWF is urging the Spanish government and European Commission to take immediate legal action and protect one of Europe's most vulnerable natural sites from harmful fossil fuel exploitation.The risks of gas exploitation in Doñana – which has also been designated a Natura 2000 protected area – include pollution of groundwater, explosions in case of leaks in the gas storage facility, as well as potential seismic reactions similar to those occurring near Valencia in 2013, where a similar gas storage project known as 'Castor' caused hundreds of earthquakes. Gas Natural-Fenosa is threatening to claim €358m EUR from the Andalusian government unless it gets authorization to build 20 km of gas pipelines, 14 new exploration sites and a permanent huge underground storage facility.