Bulgaria’s Ombudsperson Met with Protesters against Gas Extraction in Dobrudhza
Bulgaria’s national ombudsperson, Maya Manolova, and Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Krassimir Zhivkov on 14th of November met with residents of General Toshevo municipality who protest against gas extraction in Dobrudzha region (North-Eastern Bulgaria).
More than 2000 signatures have been collected against the idea of gas extraction in the region. Investement plans envisage construction of 5 sites and 41 drillings in the region. This has triggered a series of protests over the past few months. Protesters have concerns that gas extraction will pollute water and air, and will ruin agriculture, which is the main source of livelihood in the region.
Maya Manolova said gas in General Toshevo would not be extracted because everyone she talked to was strongly opposed.
The Ombudsperson will insist on additional opinions on the exploitation of the deposit to clarify what techniques will be used in gas extraction. Manolova will urge authorities to comply with the results of the upcoming referendum on December 17, at which people will give their opinion on gas extraction in the region. Legislative changes are also needed, Manolova said.
She said she would propose amendments to the Agricultural Land Conservation Act, which would envisage to explicitly prohibit the exploration and extraction of oil and gas and of underground natural resources in the fertile agricultural lands.
Krassimir Zhivkov, Deputy Minister of Environment and Water said that the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) in Varna was the authority that would decide on the positive or negative assessment of the environment impact assessment report.
Source: The Bulgarian National Television
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