Nord Stream 2 considers route through nature reserve optimal

The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology has provided its European counterparts with the report on Environmental Impact Assessment of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The document favours the option for routeing the gas pipeline through the unique Kurgalsky natural reserve.

The  main route of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is named as preferred one in the documents being officially submitted by the Ministry, violates the requirements of Russian legislation on Nature Protected Areas. Its provisions prohibit any construction within territory of the natural reserve. Additionally, Kurgalsky natural reserve is also a wetland of international importance and is protected under the Ramsar Convention. Environmental NGOs state that other, less harmful to natural environment options for pipe-laying are available.

“The routeing of the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is proposed by the Ministry is not only violating the requirements of the Russian legislation, but also does not take into account the view point by a wide range of Russian stakeholders. In March 2017, representatives of a dozen of various environmental and scientific organizations expressed their explicit and unanimous view against the pipe-laying across the Kurgalsky natural reserve” – comments Alexey Knizhnikov, Head of Oil&Gas Environmental Policy Programme of the WWF Russia.

The Nord Stream 2 proposed route also cuts straight through a newly designated Natura 2000 site for the critically endangered Baltic Proper harbour porpoise which is also thought to be the most important breeding site for this population. This raises concerns about acoustic disturbance of porpoises during the pipe-laying phase.

Nord Stream 2 AG has recently launched the international consultation process, and the consultation documents are available in all Baltic Sea languages here. To present a consolidated view from Baltic Sea environmental grassroot organisations, we encourage CCB member organisations and other eNGOs to provide their feedback through this webform.