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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 09.04.2020, 04:09

Nord Stream 2 sums up results of planning and environmental assessment in Russia

BC, Riga, 23.03.2018.Print version
Nord Stream 2 AG, the developer of a pipeline to supply Russian natural gas to the EU market through the Baltic Sea, held a round table on “Nord Stream 2 Approach to Responsible Infrastructure Development in a Sensitive Environment” as part of the 19thBaltic Sea Day international environmental forum. The forum is held annually in St Petersburg with the support of HELCOM (the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission) and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, reported BC Nord Stream's press service.

It is recognised as an influential platform for discussion of environmental issues in the Baltic region. Scientists, experts, government officials and community leaders from across the Baltic region took part in the round table and open discussion.

At the round table, Nord Stream 2 representatives and experts summed up the results of the environmental impact assessment and technical design, presenting a comprehensive approach to responsible planning of the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline in the sensitive area of the Gulf of Finland and Kurgalsky reserve. Over the last year, a lot of important milestones have been achieved:

- international consultations have been completed in line with the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (see the Natural Resources Ministry’s press release in Russian);

- comprehensive materials on project planning have been published (EIA Procedure in Russia);

- public consultations have been held (Nord Stream 2 Completes Two Months of Public Consultations in Russia);

- the environmental impact assessment procedure for the Russian section has been completed and a positive conclusion from Russian environmental authorities has been received (Nord Stream 2 Receives Positive Conclusion from the Russian Environmental Authority).

  • As the responsible developer of an international infrastructure project, in addition to complying with national legislation, Nord Stream 2 has committed to the environmental and social sustainability standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC PS), including the key principles of the environmental impacts mitigation hierarchy. Guided by these principles, the company undertakes not only to minimise potential impacts in the construction corridor, but also to achieve a net gain on the biodiversity value of the Kurgalsky reserve.

  • The project developer presented to the expert community its approach to planning Nord Stream 2 project in Russia in accordance with the IFC mitigation hierarchy. In the first stage, the company carried out detailed studies to select the optimal route and to avoid, as far as possible, social and environmental impacts. In the second stage, those impacts that could not be avoided were minimised through the use of an innovative construction method (for more details see: Onshore Construction in Russia), tailored to the environmental conditions of the area, as well as a broad range of mitigation measures developed by the company with due consideration of comments received during the public consultation  phase (see Facts and Figures: Environmental Impact Assessment in Russia). In the third stage, Nord Stream 2 will compensate and offset residual environmental impacts through a series of compensation measures as well as a biodiversity action plan for the Kurgalsky reserve (More: Nord Stream 2 Presents Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for the Kurgalsky Nature Reserve).

The above measures are part of a comprehensive Environmental and Community Initiatives Strategy developed specifically for the Russian section of the gas pipeline, which also identifies opportunities for social investments in the region (see: Nord Stream 2 Presents Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for the Kurgalsky Nature Reserve). Specific initiatives will be defined in dialogue with the Committee for Natural Resources of the Leningrad Region, relevant scientific institutions and municipal authorities, in line with the cooperation agreement the company signed with the Leningrad Region Government in February 2018 (see: Nord Stream 2 and Leningrad Region Sign Cooperation Agreement).

Nord Stream 2 is confident that its responsible planning and implementation of infrastructure project will set a new benchmark in the region.

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