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Environmental Appeals Board repeals the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s permit for Baltic Pipe

Published 16.6.2021 09.45
On 12 July 2019 the Baltic Pipe Project received an environmental permit from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to build the gas pipeline on land across Denmark. On 31 May 2021 the Environmental and Food Appeals Board ruled to repeal the permit.

The Danish Environmental and Food Appeals Board has repealed the permit for the gas pipeline Baltic Pipe on land. According to the appeals board, the permit from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency did not sufficiently describe the measures taken to protect dormice, Nordic birch mice and bats, that are protected by the European Habitats Directive Annex 4, during the construction of the 210-kilometer-long pipeline across Denmark.

“We are surprised by the ruling by the appeals board. When we received the permit back in 2019 it was specified that we had to develop several remedial measures to secure good living conditions for the dormice, Nordic birch mice and bats, that live in some of the areas, Baltic Pipe will pass through. Since then, we have been working on and implemented these measures, to protect the animals. The appeals board has ruled that all of these measures should have been described more thoroughly, before the permit was given”, says Marian Kaagh, Vice President of projects in Energinet.

Furthermore, the appeals board has found that the remedial measures in the permit are not sufficient to maintain the affected breeding and foraging areas at the same level as prior to the construction work.

Energinet will now - in close contact with the authorities – clarify what consequences the ruling will have for the Baltic Pipe Project. Energinet is at this moment preparing a plan for a temporary shutdown of construction activities until the required permit is in place.

“The appeals board has repealed the permit and sent it back to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency for revision. We will now thoroughly examine what consequences this has for the Baltic Pipe Project and especially the construction in the places where the protected Annex 4-species live. Baltic Pipe is a major infrastructure project that span across Denmark. It is impossible not to affect the areas we work in, but we are fully committed to minimizing impact to both people and nature, and to secure good conditions for protected species during and after the construction of Baltic Pipe”, says Marian Kaagh.

Background

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency granted a permit for the onshore part of the Baltic Pipe Project in July 2021. Later the same year the Danish Environmental Protection Agency granted the permit for the offshore part.

In August 2019 four complaints were sent to the Environmental and Food Appeals Board over the environmental permit. The complaints did not have suspensive effect.

On 31 May 2021 the Environmental and Food Appeals Board has ruled on the complaints.

More information on the board’s website (in Danish)

For more information on Baltic Pipe visit www.baltic-pipe.eu