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Nord Stream’s EIA process finalised in Finland

Important milestone achieved in the permitting process

2. Juli 2009 | Zug | Nord Stream received the Uusimaa Regional Environment Centre’s statement regarding the Baltic Sea gas pipeline’s national environmental impact assessment on 2 July, 2009. The statement will be taken into account when the permitting decisions are made in Finland during autumn 2009.

“We are satisfied with the authorities stating that the Finnish EIA process has been completed,” said Sebastian Sass, Nord Stream’s head of EU relations. “This means that the project is on schedule. We have already cooperated with the authorities intensively for several years. We will now familiarise ourselves with the statement and provide all necessary additional clarifications. Our aim is for the pipeline to be the safest and soundest possible.”

The objective of the EIA process was to assess the environmental effects of the project, to ensure that environmental impact is taken into account in planning the project as well as in the Finnish authorities’ decision-making process. The EIA process also provided the public with information and the opportunity to participate in the process.

The statement issued by the coordinating authority, the Uusimaa Regional Environment Centre (Uusimaa ympäristökeskus), confirms that the participation arrangements were sufficient and met the requirements of the Finnish EIA law.  For example, the discussions with the authorities and other stakeholders contributed to the environmental impact assessment, which is taken into account in the project planning.

The EIA report and the Uusimaa Regional Environment Centre’s statement will be considered when the Finnish permits are to be decided. The permits that need to be issued are the EEZ permit from the Ministry of Employment and Economy and the water permit from the Western Finland Environmental Permitting Authority (WFEPA). The transboundary impact on Finland from other countries and the impact from the Finnish EEZ on other countries are described in Nord Stream’s Espoo Report. 

Construction of the 1,220 km long pipeline is scheduled to start in early 2010. Nord Stream will eventually be able to supply 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The CO2 emissions of natural gas are the lowest of any fossil fuel, even 50 percent less than coal.

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