Blue Flag is unlikely to fly over Peel beach

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It’s unlikely that Peel beach will attain Blue Flag status even with the construction of a new regional sewage treatment works, MHKs were told.

Environment Minister Phil Gawne was quizzed in the House of Keys by Onchan MHK Peter Karran (Lib Van) about how Peel could meet the EU’s highest bathing water standard.

Mr Gawne said Tynwald agreed in 1990 that the EU’s then directive, dating from 1976, should be adopted as an objective.

Peel bathing waters consistently fail the excellent designation and regularly fail the good designation of that directive, he said.

The latest, more stringent, 2006 directive will apply to EU states in 2015 and the Minister said compliance of Peel’s bathing waters to this standard would be ‘even worse’. He said the Water and Sewerage Authority’s scheme for Peel will be designed to comply with the 1976 directive but with provision for future treatment to meet the more stringent 2006 directive.

Mr Gawne said it was unlikely the works would enable Peel to achieve Blue Flag status but it would be a ‘significant step’ towards it: ‘It will be difficult to meet Blue Flag status without significant further investment.’

The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that a beach meets its stringent standards.

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