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Monitoring results of Nord Stream 2 construction in Finland announced

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

Environmental and technical monitoring during 2018 in Finland focused on underwater noise, water quality and currents, as well as cultural heritage. Environmental consultant Sitowise confirmed that all observed impacts were minor, limited and of short duration.

Nord Stream 2’s Finnish monitoring is part of the comprehensive long-term monitoring programme developed for the project. National monitoring programmes were prepared in each of the five countries through whose waters the pipeline runs. In order to fulfil the permit conditions in each country, the relevant authorities were consulted before construction. The monitored receptors reflect the local environmental conditions.

Construction activities in the Finnish EEZ in 2018 included munitions clearance, rock placement, mattress installation at cable and pipeline crossings, and pipelay of the first of the two pipelines.

Munitions clearance and rock placement were initially assessed to cause the greatest environmental impact. Altogether 74 munitions were cleared and 144 rock berms installed in the Finnish EEZ. A series of mitigation measures were used to reduce environmental impacts on marine life, for example to prevent marine mammals being impacted by temporary or permanent hearing damage or behavioural changes. Monitoring of water quality was performed at two rock placement sites assessed to have biggest impacts. This was to monitor displaced seabed sediments causing cloudiness, known as turbidity in the water.

The annual monitoring results conclude the following:

  • Harmful levels of underwater noise caused by munition clearance did not reach any protected areas for marine mammals in Finnish or Estonian waters. 253 out of 254 measured peak levels of underwater noise were lower than modelled. Furthermore, no seals or harbour porpoises were detected in the area during the clearance operations.
  • Impacts of construction activities on water quality were short-term and local. Duration of the impacts exceeding turbidity thresholds were significantly lower than assessed (six and half hours compared to 19 hours). Additionally, no increase in the concentration of contaminants was detected.
  • Installation of 492 mattresses and 260 km of pipelay were performed as planned in line with the permit conditions.
  • No impact was observed on the over 200 years old cannon barge wreck which was monitored.
  • The project will not affect the achievement of the goals for good marine environment set out in the Water Framework Directive.
  • The integrity of the Natura 2000 network was not threatened by any Nord Stream 2 construction related impact.

The Annual Monitoring Report 2018 compares monitoring results with the Environmental Impact Assessment Report and the permit applications. It also includes comparisons to the Nord Stream monitoring results.

The report was prepared by the independent environmental consultancy Sitowise. The environmental monitoring fieldwork contractor Luode Consulting monitored underwater noise as well as water quality and currents during construction works. This Annual Monitoring Report has been submitted to the relevant national authorities in Finland and is available on Nord Stream 2’s website.

Monitoring activities were performed in line with the Finnish Environmental Monitoring Programme, approved as part of the Water Permit granted by the Regional State Administrative Agency Southern Finland in April 2018. The monitoring activities will continue throughout the construction phase and will be reported upon in quarterly and annual reports.

Nord Stream 2 is committed to building the pipeline in the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way. The route and construction periods have been defined in consultation with national authorities to minimise potential impacts on the sensitive Baltic Sea environment. Independent contractors monitor the actual impacts on the environment and marine life before, during and after construction along the pipeline route across 12 categories to verify that construction impacts remain within the limits laid out in approved permitting documents.

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