Sochi 2014: violation of the law on access to information and public participation in decision-making on environmental matters
Kudepsta thermal power station, perhaps, is one of the most controversial Olympic projects. But it does not end with the power plant itself. Authorities are using ‘Olympic’ excuse to build other objects, like the gas pipeline and the gas-distribution station to the Kudepsta power plant which does not exist (the proposal of the power plant is under review by the state expertise).
The gas supply project is proposed to be constructed on the territories of special natural protection of the Sochi National Park and on its 6 hectares. “It is proposed to cut the forest, allocate two gas pipelines with high pressure (1.2 MPa) in a trench way with further re-cultivation of the damaged lands. These activities are planned despite the fact that there is gas-distribution station in Kudepsta itself. The Federal Law ‘On specially protected natural territories’ prohibits such barbaric type of activities on the territories of national parks.”
Importantly, authorities outrageously violate the law on environmental impact assessment, on access to information and public participation in decision-making on environmental matters.
“According to Regulations on environmental impact assessment, public hearings must be conducted in 2 months as a minimum. During this time, the customer must inform the public about the planned project and planned mitigation measures. No measures to make such information publicly available were taken (no surveys, public discussions, seminars, etc.) by the customer or the Sochi Administration. It has been a month since the public hearings were announced. In other words, there was no public discussion on the issue. Moreover, electronic information was refused to be given to Environmental Watch on North Caucasus.”
You may find detailed statement on the issue by EWNC sent to the Head of the Sochi Administration here.
By Yulia Genin based on materials by EWNC