South Stream Transport has published the findings of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Russian Sector of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline.
The ESIA Report contains information about the potential impact of the Project on the environment and people living in the area. The assessment was made by international experts and shows that construction and operation of the four pipelines and landfall facilities in Russia is not expected to have significant environmental or social impacts.
ESIA and EIA ensure responsible Project development
In order to develop the Project in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, South Stream Transport has conducted an impact assessment consisting of two parallel processes: an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in accordance with national Russian legislation; and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) based on guidelines of international finance institutions, such as those of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Matteo Veronesi, Head of ESIA & Permitting of South Stream Transport B.V.: “For a project of this importance, we really wanted to ensure that both national standards and international practice are followed and that people who may be affected by construction of the pipeline have ample opportunity to share their feedback with us.”
The EIA Process according to Russian legislation has been finalized, and the Russian Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities issued an onshore construction permit in June 2014. The ESIA process following international guidelines is expected to last until early autumn.
The ESIA Report was prepared by independent specialists at URS Infrastructure and Environment UK Limited and provides additional information on environmental, cultural heritage and socio-economic aspects. For example, it includes more detailed information on biodiversity, intangible cultural heritage, social matters and the Company’s ongoing efforts to engage with stakeholders on the Project. It also provides an assessment of potential cumulative impacts, taking into account both the planned South Stream Offshore Pipeline and other planned or known developments in the area.
The ESIA Report contains numerous mitigation and environmental protection measures to reduce any negative impacts that may otherwise result from the Project. The experts responsible for this ESIA Report are confident that as a result, the Project will not have a significant social or environmental impact.
Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback
People with an interest in the Project are invited to review the ESIA Report and submit their feedback and comments on the assessment to South Stream Transport via e-mail, post or the company’s website. In addition, public consultation meetings will be held in Rassvet, Varvarovka, Gai Kadzor and Anapa and South Stream Transport will consult NGOs and local organizations on the report. Any feedback received will be considered for the final version of the ESIA Report.
Press Release, July 09, 2014