The Nord Stream Gas Pipeline Project: Environmental Issues

17-12-2007

The briefing paper examines the environmental impacts of a proposed project compassing a 1200-kilometre offshore gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The paper also states the enforceable international and European legislation relevant to the project and reviews the alternatives presented for the proposed pipeline. The expected environmental impacts are assembled from information provided in the statements of authorities and the public in the affected states and by the project developer. The reviewed environmental impacts comprise effects on biota, conservation areas, fishing and shipping activities as well as on the public. Legislation relevant to the project includes the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, the EU Directive on environmental impact assessment (EIA) as well as national legislation in force associated to European and international agreements or regulations in each affected state. The project is managed by Nord Stream AG, the ownership of which is shared between Russian, German and Dutch enterprises. The most significant impacts of the project are expected to be associated with the construction and installation of the pipeline. Investigations on the environmental impacts and thus the environmental impact assessment process are currently underway.

The briefing paper examines the environmental impacts of a proposed project compassing a 1200-kilometre offshore gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The paper also states the enforceable international and European legislation relevant to the project and reviews the alternatives presented for the proposed pipeline. The expected environmental impacts are assembled from information provided in the statements of authorities and the public in the affected states and by the project developer. The reviewed environmental impacts comprise effects on biota, conservation areas, fishing and shipping activities as well as on the public. Legislation relevant to the project includes the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, the EU Directive on environmental impact assessment (EIA) as well as national legislation in force associated to European and international agreements or regulations in each affected state. The project is managed by Nord Stream AG, the ownership of which is shared between Russian, German and Dutch enterprises. The most significant impacts of the project are expected to be associated with the construction and installation of the pipeline. Investigations on the environmental impacts and thus the environmental impact assessment process are currently underway.

Extern avdelning

Riina Pelkonen and Jorma Jantunen, Finnish Environment Institute, Finlande