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Espoo public hearing on Nord Stream 2 takes place in Russia

Published by
World Pipelines,

On 30 June 2017, the public hearing to address the documentation on the assessment of potential transboundary environmental impacts of the Nord Stream 2 project was held in Kingisepp (Russia). The hearing was co-organised by the Administration of the Kingisepp district and Nord Stream 2 AG (the project developer), with the participation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia. The event is part of the international consultation process governed by the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessments in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention) in which all Baltic countries have been involved.

The event was attended by representatives of the civil society, residents of the Kingisepp district, environmental NGOs, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia, Administration of the Kingisepp district, experts of Nord Stream 2 AG and Ramboll, the international independent consultancy, which prepared the documentation on the environmental transboundary impact assessment for the Nord Stream 2 project (Espoo report).

Potential transboundary environmental impacts of the pipeline construction and operation that may affect Russia were discussed on the basis of the Espoo report submitted by Nord Stream 2 AG on 6 April 2017. The discussion was held in a constructive manner; those present were very engaged and open to show their interest in the matter.

Vladimir Ivlev, Deputy Director of the Department for International Co-operation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia, noted: "The public hearings on potential transboundary impacts of the offshore Nord Stream 2 pipeline are held in Russia in accordance with the requirements of the Espoo convention and Russian legislation. Of course, all interested parties, including representatives of the Baltic countries, signatories of the Espoo Convention, had an opportunity to take part in the hearing. The Espoo documentation is available on the website of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. It has also been submitted for review to the relevant federal executive bodies. Questions and comments that have been received will be considered and taken into account in further project development.”

Although the Russian Federation has not ratified the Espoo Convention, for the Nord Stream 2 project it has made a voluntary commitment to act as a party of origin as far as national legislation allows.

The event followed a series of public meetings that had already been held in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as part of the international Espoo consultation process. Nord Stream 2 engages in a broad dialogue around the Baltic Sea to ensure that the project will be implemented in a sound and sustainable way.

The Espoo consultations in Russia run in addition to the national EIA procedure, which is governed by the Russian legislation.

Nord Stream 2 began the national EIA process in Russia in April 2017. The next stage of the national EIA procedure in Russia will be the submission of a comprehensive draft EIA report for public review, followed by public hearings on the potential environmental impacts in Russia in accordance with Russian legislation.

Nord Stream 2 will pass through the exclusive economic zones and/or territorial waters of five countries (Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany) and is subject to the Espoo Convention. Nord Stream 2 is undergoing a comprehensive permitting and consultation process to obtain the necessary permits from the countries involved.

The Espoo report, detailed map atlas and Non-Technical summary have all been published in nine languages of the Baltic countries and in English. They are available on the company’s website.

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