German Court Rejects Last Obstacle to Nord Stream 2 Construction

(P&GJ) — A remaining legal hurdle for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been cleared as the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg has rejected a complaint regarding the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a portion of land to be used for the pipeline. 

A complaint filed by private landowner Malte Haynen and reported by the Eurasia Review claimed that the EIA on which the planning approval for the EUGAL pipeline was based was incomplete.

The EUGAL pipeline is the land-based portion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will run 310 miles (500 kilometers) across Germany to the Czech Republic. The pipeline would cross .02 miles of Haynen’s property.

Haynen claimed the changes in the climate directly and indirectly associated with the project due to greenhouse gas emissions were not adequately determined, described and evaluated by the EIA and that there is no need for the approved project in the energy sector.

The 11th Senate of the Higher Administrative Court dismissed the lawsuit, stating the EIA report contained the minimum information required and that the pipeline was “state of the art and safe.”

The court said that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of the steel pipes and with the production and consumption of the transported gas are not the environmental impacts of the EUGAL project, which are included in the EIA obligation. 

The court also said it only has limited abilities to check the need assessment of the pipeline and that the complaint did not “reveal any legal deficiencies in the energy assessment of the project.”

As the court has denied the chance for appeal of its decision, construction can continue immediately, and the project is estimated to begin flows in 2021.

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