Environmental Impact Assessments and Permitting Processes
Building cross-border infrastructure and protecting the environment requires international cooperation in a transboundary context. This is safeguarded in a variety of laws, conventions and treaties that govern international cooperation. The Baltic Sea, surrounded by nine countries, is a special ecosystem. It is used commercially for shipping, fishery, development of communication and energy infrastructure as well as for raw material extraction by the surrounding countries.
The cooperation of all nine Baltic countries is of great importance to promote sustainable commercial use while safeguarding the Baltic Sea’s uniqueness.
As the Nord Stream 2 pipeline passes through the territorial waters and/or the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, the permits to construct and operate the pipeline must be obtained from each of these five countries. Moreover, as other countries around the Baltic Sea could also be affected, the international consultations under the Espoo convention include Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
National legislation generally requires an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be completed as a prerequisite for national permits. The EIAs are based on a broad range of surveys, engineering design as well as on data from independent experts and research institutions.
Nord Stream 2 is committed to meeting the highest environmental and social standards. We are proud of the results achieved by the Nord Stream Pipeline. Several years of environmental monitoring now demonstrate that the Nord Stream pipeline has been built and operated with no significant or long term impact on the environment.
Nord Stream’s studies constituted one of the most significant analyses of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and the seabed along the pipeline route, and contributed to scientific understanding of this special environment. Nord Stream 2 will be based on the knowledge and experience gained through the Nord Stream monitoring, EIAs and Espoo Report, together with its own extensive studies and consultations for the new pipeline.
This section introduces the legal framework pertaining to the construction and operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and gives an overview of the Environmental Impact Assessment, national permitting and international consultation processes.