After intensive negotiations, two German environmental groups – BUND Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania and WWF Germany – have reached an agreement with Nord Stream AG on further far-reaching environmental steps to protect the Baltic Sea. Plans for the long-term storage of excavation material from construction works at the landfall, and for environmental monitoring during construction have been modified. Furthermore, an additional “close season” of ten days for herring has been agreed for next year.
As a supplement to previously approved plans, Nord Stream’s enhanced monitoring concept foresees the development of additional measures to monitor the environmental impact of the pipeline’s construction, primarily with regard to water turbidity. More tests for observing how ecosystems react when construction has been completed have also been agreed upon.
According to the agreement reached between Nord Stream and the environment groups, Nord Stream’s previous dumping-at-sea concept has changed. As a result of this agreement, marl arising through construction activities will now be brought to land, and no longer dumped at sea.
To preserve herring stocks that are already depleted by the severe winters, an additional “close season” for herring has been agreed for next year with the local fishermen. During this “close season”, fishermen will desist in deploying herring gill nets for a total of ten days. Nord Stream will compensate them for the resulting financial costs.
Dirk von Ameln, Nord Stream Permitting Director, said: “Negotiations over the past few weeks have been very constructive. We have a common interest in improving the protection of the Baltic Sea’s ecosystem. This goal has been achieved,” he said.
Nord Stream and the environmental groups are currently discussing additional compensation measures. “We are confident that we will be able to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion within the next two months,” von Ameln added.