"RREC has relevant potential for providing support to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia within the framework of Environment for Europe Process and implementing the functions of the Secretariat according to set framework"

V. Stepankov, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources of Russia in 2004-2006

Nord Stream and public control: International Meeting of Nord Stream AG with Baltic NGOs

The Round Table devoted to the gas pipeline planned to be constructed on the seabed of the Baltic Sea, took place on in Riga on May 14, 2008. NGOs of the Baltic Region met with experts of Company Nord Stream AG.NGOs from Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden and Estonia represented the public of the region. The company was represented by 7 specialists: Permitting Director, experts of Nord Stream AG and Ramboll,company’s manager in the field of the communication with the public.

In the NGOs opinion the presentations by the experts provided them with very useful and new information, including data on the route optimization, minimization of impacts on the seabed and damage to the environment, and progress in the Espoo process. The presentation partially covered the answers to the questions prepared by NGOs in advance.

See presentations in attached files.

Nord Stream AG presented RREC (Moscow) and Project “Eccentric” (Saint-Petersburg) Atlas: Environmental Impact Assessment in a Tran boundary Context, issued in December 2007. All interested specialists and the public may have access to the Atlas at the offices of both organizations.

The presentations were followed by NGO questions and comments related to the national and international EIA progress, changes in the route, minimization of the damage to the environment, technologies and safety, etc.The NGOs were informed that the Report on international EIA will be issued in autumn 2008 firstly in English. After then the consultations with the official bodies and discussions with the public will start. The pipeline construction will begin in spring 2010 as planned.

The comprehensive data obtained due to intensive investigations will be presented to HELCOM and the national governments as the environmental data should be open to all interested organizations and groups including the public.
The Russian NGOs raised the issue concerning the threats to the Ingermanlandsky nature reserve caused by the route changing from the north to the south of Gogland Island. There came a proposal to discuss the issue at a special meeting of the experts from Saint-Petersburg with the Nord Stream representatives.

The NGOs asked many questions related to the involved technologies and the project safety including threats from the dumped chemical weapon and radioactive wastes. In general along the route the chemical weapons were not discovered, though some investigations haven’t been completed yet, e.g. to the south of Bornholm. Their completion is expected in several months. The information on the chemical weapon will be shown in a special section of the Nord Stream web page.

The NGOs mentioned that they had never attended such a useful and open meeting with a business company.
The Riga round table was organized by the Russian Regional Environmental Centre (RREC) in cooperation with the Baltic Environmental Forum Group (Riga) and Project “Ecocentrum” (Saint-Petersburg). The financial support was provided by RREC, BEF Group, the meeting space - by Nord Stream AG.

The separate meeting of the Baltic NGOs took place in Riga the day before the round table without Nord Stream participation. The invited NGOs exchanged information on the issues which concerned the gas pipeline construction in their countries: opinions and discussions of the project, public involvement, possible threats from construction and exploitation of the pipeline, etc.
The meeting of May 13 was also funded by RREC and BEF Group and received an organizational support from Project “Ecocentrum”.

Openning.pdf1.15 MB
Espoo_Consultations.pdf120.26 KB
impact_of_seabed_works_sm.pdf2.21 MB
Nord_Stream_Route_Planning_sm.pdf2.19 MB