Permitting Process in Russia

Nord Stream 2 aims to build the new pipeline through the Baltic Sea with the least environmental impact. The decision for the proposed pipeline route was made following a process that took around five years and included thorough studies and the assessment of all options. In Russia, Nord Stream 2 had to obtain two permits for the construction of its pipeline.

To select the route for the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline in Russia, we began as early as 2012 to research potential options: out of all the options assessed, the Narva Bay route was chosen as the preferred option as it has the lowest environmental impact and reduces risks during construction and operation (for detailed information on route selection please check Landfall in Russia: Responsible Infrastructure Development in the Sensitive Narva Bay Area. This preferred route crosses a maximum of 3.7 kilometres of the southern section of the Kurgalsky Nature Reserve. The research results were summarised in comprehensive reports by independent consultants: Assessment of alternatives for the Russian part, 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 positive feedback to the reports on comparative environmental assessment of the route options for the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline in Russia.

As an integral part of the permitting process, Nord Stream 2 has carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in compliance with the Russian environment protection legislation and additional regulations, as well as international law. The Russian EIA procedure consisted of several stages: the disclosure of the EIA terms of reference, EIA Programme, the draft EIA Report, the final EIA Report and the Environmental monitoring programme. It also included two periods of public consultations, hearings and round tables which lasted from April 2017 through October 2017. The final EIA Report was approved by the State Environmental Expert Review in January 2018. Following the EIA, two permits were received in Russia: the permit to construct the pipeline on the Russian territory from the Ministry of Construction and Utilities (June 7, 2018) and the offshore pipelay permit from the Federal Agency for the Supervision of Natural Resources Use (August 14, 2018).

The Nord Stream 2 Project in Russia is being implemented as planned, based on permits received from competent authorities. However, following finalisation of detail design, technical solutions and construction methods have been optimised to accommodate ground conditions, further enhance reliability and reduce impacts on the environment. Russian legislation requires all modifications, including improvements, to be reflected in the updated project documentation and approved by competent authorities through the Main Department of State Expertise (MSE). As a prerequisite for MSE, the changes are assessed in the updated EIA which is subject of State Environmental Expert Review (SEER).

In March 2019, in accordance with Russian law, Nord Stream 2 initiated the EIA procedure by disclosing the updated draft EIA report, as well as an explanatory note and non-technical summary (available here in Russian only).

The public hearings were held in Kingisepp on 9 April 2019. In late June 2019, the updated documentation was submitted to the expert commission for state environmental expert review (SEER) under the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Use (Rosprirodnadzor), in line with the existing procedure. In line with the requirements of the Russian legislation, once the company has received SEER’s conclusion, the documents will be sent to the Main Department of State Expertise (MSE) for further review. All procedures are planned to be finalised before the end of 2019.

Nord Stream 2 has committed to complying with all applicable national legislation as well as with the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (IFC PS). The Nord Stream 2 project is being implemented in the safest possible way with full awareness of local ecological conditions. We apply strict processes to identify all environmental and social risks and avoid negative impacts. Where this is not possible, Nord Stream 2 applies advanced mitigation and compensation measures. 

To achieve this goal, we developed the Environmental and Community Initiatives (ECo-I) Strategy for the Landfall in Russia. As part of this strategy, Nord Stream 2 supports the environmental and community initiatives to contribute the sustainable development of the area. Key focus areas have been defined through consultations with the regional and municipal authorities, community elders and locals. The Strategy is being implemented in close cooperation with stakeholders as envisaged by the cooperation agreement the company signed with the Leningrad Region Government in February 2018. 

Nord Stream 2 is committed to an open and transparent dialogue with stakeholders: authorities, NGOs, the local community, scientific and research experts, institutes and other organisations. Nord Stream 2 recognises the importance of stakeholder engagement in building strong, constructive and responsive relationships that are essential for the successful management of environmental and social impacts.

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.

You’ll find more information on the permitting process for the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline in Russia here.

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