Environmental protection is an absolute priority for Nord Stream 2, which has undertaken a number of measures to minimise the impact of construction on the sensitive Baltic Sea.
As a project in the transboundary context, the pipeline is subject to international conventions and national legislation in each of the countries through whose waters it passes. The pipeline route, construction plan and environmental monitoring programmes were also developed in close consultation with the competent environmental authorities in each country.
The cornerstone to planning international infrastructure projects like the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline is surveys. From the surface to the seafloor, our fleet of high-performance vessels collected some of the most resolute data sets ever compiled in the Baltic Sea. This data enabled the project to move forward safely and with minimal environmental impact by providing essential details for engineering, route optimisation, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and permitting, environmental management and monitoring.
An EIA is a national procedure to evaluate the potential impact of a proposed activity and enhance public participation in the planning phase. Throughout this process, Nord Stream 2 engaged with all relevant countries and stakeholders to develop a safe, socially responsible and sustainable pipeline. The competent authorities reviewed all materials and provided a statement on the completeness of the EIA to be taken into consideration in the permit decisions.
At the international level, Nord Stream 2 was also subject to the Espoo Convention on the Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context. This required a complex consultation process and the publication of the so-called “Espoo Report,” which documented potential transboundary impacts.
Additionally, Nord Stream 2 selected independent contractors to monitor and verify the actual impacts of construction to the environment and marine life. The environmental monitoring programme includes 17 receptors that collect information about abiotic, biotic and socio-economic parameters across in all five countries. It takes place before, during, and after construction and addresses 12 main categories: water quality, seabed sediments, underwater noise, bird populations, marine mammals, flora and fauna, fish and fisheries, cultural heritage, munitions, maritime traffic, onshore environment, and Natura 2000 areas.
National monitoring programmes have been approved by competent authorities who will verify the compliance with permit provisions.