Turkey OKs South Stream Environmental Impact Assessment
Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Urbanization has approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the offshore section of the South Stream gas pipeline.
The clearance for the offshore stretch of the gas pipeline crossing the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Turkey was announced by the South Stream Transport company.
The EIA report concluded that the project was not expected to have substantial impact on the marine environment or fisheries in the Turkish section.
The South Stream pipeline section is to be built at a distance of over 110 km from the Turkish coast, in waters up to 2200 m deep.
Alongside the positive EIA report, however, the Turkish authorities requested a set of measures to be included in the project design, including a re-routing of the pipeline so that it sidesteps shipwrecks at the sea bottom.
The positive EIA report was issued after months of scientific research and consultations among Turkish and international experts, according to the South Stream Transport company, as cited by investor.bg.
Offshore pipe laying in Russian waters has been scheduled to start in late 2014.
South Stream Transport received a positive EIA report for the pipeline section in Russian waters in March.
Bulgaria also issued a positive EIA report for the local offshore section of the gas pipeline.
However, Environment Minister Stanislav Atanasov made clear a few weeks ago that a number of environmental organizations were appealing the EIA report at a Bulgarian court.
Atanasov said that he expected the court to come up with a ruling on it by October.
Against the backdrop of these preparations, Bulgaria suspended work on the project on its territory, saying that it would wait for the pronouncement of the European Commission on the compatibility of the scheme with the EU's Third Energy Package.
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