Environmental impact assessment procedure in Russia

Nord Stream 2 AG is committed to the principle of open dialogue and consultations with stakeholders including authorities, non-governmental organizations, experts and local communities.

The objective of an active public engagement is to share information about the project and provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on various aspects of the project implementation including the environmental impact assessment (EIA).

The EIA procedure in Russia has been carried out in compliance to the Russian environment protection legislation and other environmental, natural resource management and investment regulations, such as:

  • Federal Law No 7-FZ On Environmental Protection, dated on 10.01.2002.
  • Federal Law No. 174-FZ On Environmental Expert Review dated on 23.11.1995
  • Federal Law No.155-FZ On the Internal Sea Waters, Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone of the Russian Federation dated on 31.07.1998
  • Russian Federation Environment Impact Assessment Procedure for Planned Business Activities Russian Environment Protection Committee Order No. 372 dated on 16.05.2000, etc.

The requirements of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention) which provides for the involvement of all Baltic Sea countries in the discussion of potential transboundary impacts, other international norms and standards, including the standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), were also taken into account.

As envisaged by Russian legislation, the EIA procedure has several stages:

1. Development of the EIA Terms of Reference

The Draft Terms of Reference for the development of the Environmental Protection Measures, including the EIA, was released for public review on April 12, 2017. Public consultations were held for 60 days since the disclosure date through collecting comments and proposals. After the public hearings the comments were analyzed and incorporated into the final Terms of Reference.

The following materials prepared by independent environmental consultants are also available for public:

  1. Environmental Impact Assessment Programme
  2. Assessment of alternatives for the Russian part
  3. Comparative environmental assessment of alternative routes for the Russian section of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline

The Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have provided a positive feedback to the reports on comparative environmental assessment of the route options for the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline in Russia.

2. EIA Procedure and Draft Report

The primary EIA results are: identifying the sources of impact, their properties, magnitude, and Generating a list of environment protection measures to mitigate any project's negative environmental impacts.

The EIA includes hydrometeorological, geological, biological, social, economic and other analysis. Special attention is paid to the identification of and impact assessment on rare and endangered species of biota, nature protected areas, distribution of commercial species and other factors that could potentially restrict the project implementation.

The background information, engineering decisions, and expected impacts have been analyzed with:

  • Expert environmental assessment of the technical solutions;
  • Modelling of spatial and time-dependent distribution of contaminants and physical impacts, comparison of the concentration levels received with the maximum levels allowed by regulations or defined by expert opinion;
  • Calculation of direct impacts on the natural resources and assessment of potential environmental impact;
  • Qualitative and quantitative assessment of the impact on the environment.

The EIA has identified a wide range of measures to be taken to prevent or minimize the negative impact to the acceptable level.

The draft EIA report, for offshore and onshore part, concept note as well as Non-Technical Summary and a journal for registering public feedbacks were made available in four public liaison offices on 4 August 2017 for 60 calendar days. A public hearing was held on 4 September 2017 in Kingisepp. Public consultations and collection of comments were ongoing for 30 days after the hearing and were completed on 4 October 2017.

Besides the public hearings procedure required by the Russian legislation Nord Stream 2 AG in compliance with international regulations also have held consultations with non-governmental environment protection organizations, experts, local community as "round tables", individual meetings with experts, focus groups, group meetings with local community.

3. Final EIA Report Development

The Final EIA Report for the offshore (Vol.1, Vol.2) and onshore (Vol.1, Vol.2) parts has been developed based on the submitted comments, remarks, and proposals. The document has a number of large appendices.

It includes a proposed comprehensive environmental monitoring program for the offshore pipeline sections covering its Construction and operation and onshore sections covering its Construction and operation periods. The program is compliant to the Russian legislation and international environmental laws not inconsistent with the Russian legislation.

All the comments received in the course of the EIA, answers and explanations by the project developer are included in the materials of public consultations and in the documentation package submitted for State environmental expert review (SEER).

The SEER period depends on the project complexity but shall not exceed three months. The duration of their review may vary depending on the project complexity, but in any case it shall not exceed three months. The Nord Stream 2 project documentation is subject to the federal level expert review by the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage (Rosprirodnadzor).

Nord Stream 2 AG keeps the public informed during all stages of the project implementation. We are ready to answer your questions and consider any proposals you may have. Please send your queries and proposals to Russia@nord-stream2.com or call us at +7 921 305 84 16.