Nord Stream AG published the 2013 annual monitoring report, the fourth of six such planned reports.
The report, which is intended to document environmental effects during the construction and recovery phases, summarizes the results and conclusions of the monitoring activities in accordance with the five national environmental monitoring programmes in Russia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
The environmental and socio-economic monitoring is focused on environmentally sensitive areas and other receptors that could potentially be affected by the Nord Stream Pipeline.
- The monitoring conducted in Russia was to document the status of migrating and nesting birds. The results of this bird monitoring showed an ongoing positive tendency in the development of bird populations. On the basis of these results and those of previous years it was concluded that the construction and subsequent operation of the Nord Stream Pipeline has had no negative impact on ornithofauna in the region.
- In Finland’s EEZ, cultural heritage finds were inspected with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with cameras and a multibeam echo sounder to assess whether wrecks in the vicinity of the pipeline had been affected by the pipelines during operation. No changes in the location or condition of the wrecks were observed.
- The 2013 monitoring surveys carried out in Sweden and Denmark covered, among other subjects, fish populations, which were evaluated against data collected in previous years. In general, the monitoring results showed a higher abundance and higher biomass in 2011-2013 compared with the 2010 baseline study. It can be verified that the amount of fish along the pipeline has not changed significantly when comparing impact and reference areas for each year, and it was concluded that the abundance of fish along the pipeline had not decreased due to the presence of the Nord Stream Pipeline.
- The monitoring surveys carried out in Germany in 2013 included the recovery of dune vegetation, reptiles and breeding birds near the landfall. The monitoring revealed that reinstatement and management were successful, as all endangered species either survived the construction period or returned afterwards.
Monitoring related to construction activities was conducted until 2012, when construction of both pipelines was completed.
The results confirmed that the impacts were limited locally and short-term only, and thus in line with the outcome of the environmental impact assessments. From 2013 onwards, monitoring has been focused on the operation of pipelines and environmental recovery after construction.