Bosnia/Republika Srpska: Environmental Impact Assessment for new Swiss Russian Comsar Energy TPP Ugljevik 3 contains false information, reveals expert analysis

, SEE Energy News

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study for the planned Ugljevik III lignite power plant [1] near Bjeljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina contains data on the plant’s SO2, NOx and dust emissions which is demonstrably false , and the study is missing key information needed to assess the plant’s environmental impact, according to a new analysis  submitted by NGO Center for Environment to the responsible Ministry today.

The environmental permit for the new coal unit which is currently subject to a legal challenge in Republika Srpska [4] was issued on the basis of the contested environmental study in July 2013. The new analysis commissioned by Center for Environment and carried out by Polish expert Dr Leszek Pazderski demonstrates that the environmental study is missing several key elements, for example:

data on greenhouse gas emissions and the climate impact of the project
quantitative data on emissions of carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen chloride, heavy metals, benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, or radioactive isotopes
information about the quantity and composition of wastewater and its impact on surface water

These omissions together with the incorrect emissions figures mean that the EIA does not enable an assessment of the plant’s impacts on the environment and does not fulfil the minimum requirements of the EU EIA Directive, which is legally binding on Bosnia and Herzegovina under the terms of the EU-backed Energy Community Treaty.

“This is the latest in a series of environmental approvals for risky projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina which have been waved through with very little oversight”, said Igor Kalaba of Center for Environment. “This has already caused problems in the cases of the Stanari coal power plant, which will not be in line with the EU Industrial Emissions Directive, and in the Ulog hydropower plant, in which two workers were killed by landslides in 2013 – incidents which might have been avoided if the project’s impact on land stability was better covered in the Environmental Impact Assessment process”.

“With such shocking findings about the quality of the environmental study for Ugljevik III, the Ministry now needs to annul the environmental permit if it wants to uphold the law, protect the inhabitants of the Ugljevik area and avoid serious and expensive problems in the future”, added Natasa Crnkovic of the Center for Environment.

Source; Bankwatch