MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT

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1 Warsaw, 18 January MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT DOOŚ-082/8412-3/08/IS Maciej Nowicki Ms. Laila Wieth Knudsen Skov og Naturstyrelsen Haraldsgade 53 DK-2100 Copenhagen K DANMARK In reply to your letter with the reference no. J.nr.bls Ref. lwk, of 7 November 2007, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to communicate my comments on the change in the route of the proposed Nord Stream pipeline, connecting Russia and Germany. At the same time, let me kindly inform you that in Poland the document Status of the Nord Stream pipeline route in the Baltic Sea was made available to the public in the Warmińsko Mazurskie, Pomorskie and Zachodniopomorskie Provinces and submitted for opinion to the interested administration authorities. A numerous remarks, coming from governmental and local authorities, institutions dealing with marine matters, high schools, scientific and research institutes and from non governmental organizations was send to the Minister of the Environment with reference to the planned investment. Having in mind the high sensitivity of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and the fact that, irrespective of the localisation of two undersea pipelines the proposed investment project means interference with the Baltic Sea environment over a large distance (in two of its three major basins), it should be stated that, despite the rout changes the impact of the project may turn out to be significant. In the light of this and in the faith of a new information concerning the project as well as the comments and opinions collected on this information, I should like to say that with regard to the required scope of the environmental impact assessment documentation I maintain the position communicated by the letter of 16 February 2007 with the reference no. DOOŚ-082/1339/2007/AK, in response to the notification of the proposed investment project. In particular, I should like to emphasise that such documentation should include a description of land-based alternatives of the pipeline which would be alternative to its route on the Baltic Sea bottom and the alternatives to be described should be compared, taking into account the effects of their implementation on the environment. The opinions which have been collected indicate, too, that it is also important to

2 precisely identify the procedures for responding to emergencies and to address the issue of insurance in relation to the possible adverse effects of the implementation of the project, as referred to in points 17 and 22 of the position of 16 February In addition, I should like to supplement the aforementioned position of 16 February 2007 and also emphasise or expound on some of the issues touched upon in that position, in giving the comments below, with a kind request for them to be included in the documentation of the environmental impact assessment: 1. General comments - In accordance with Directive 85/337/EEC and taking into account the definition of impact contained in Article 1 of the Espoo Convention, the environmental impact assessment documentation should contain not only a description of the impact on particular elements of the environment (both abiotic and biotic) but also a description of the expected effects of the proposed activity on the interactions between these elements, whereas the tables provided at the end of the document subject to the opinion do not indicate directly whether the environmental impact assessment documentation would cover the interactions among the components of the ecosystem and the effect of the investment project on these interdependencies; - The content of the document Status of the Nord Stream pipeline route in the Baltic Sea suggests that mainly the direct impact on the environment was taken into account so far, whereas the environmental impact assessment documentation should also address the indirect effects and indicate the medium and long-term effects, with consideration also given to the accumulative effects; - Where applicable, the impact assessment should take into account the possible impact on terrestrial coastal areas; - In order to facilitate the perception of information on this project, I should like to suggest that where information is illustrated in maps at least one of them should contain data on the geographical coordinates of the main distinguishable points of the gas pipeline. 2. Alternatives: - Apart from the issue of taking into account the land-based alternatives of the gas pipeline, it is also necessary to unambiguously define the sea-based alternatives, along with an indication of the reasons for the choice of a given alternative, supported by the research results; whereas from this point of view the description contained in the document Status of the Nord Stream pipeline route in the Baltic Sea is not adequately exhaustive (e.g., the description in Chapter 6 refers to route DK-02 only); - In considering the alternative where the gas pipeline would run through Uznam Island, bypassing the sea areas incorporated into the Natura 2000 network in Germany, the impact assessment should cover e.g. the socio-economic effects on the tourist resorts situated on the Western coast of Poland (safety, water quality etc.) as well as the effects on the operation and possibilities for development of the port in Świnoujście; - In view of a danger for the environment in the territory of the Republic of Poland as posed by the alternative to run through Uznam Island, Poland expects that analysis should be 2

3 carried out on the alternatives of landfalls in Germany in areas further to the west than the alternative DK-02/GER. 3. Construction stage: - A description of individual works should contain information on the expected date and the duration of the works. At the same time, the impact assessment should take into account the issues related to the assembly of the second line of the pipeline at another stage of the investment project, with consideration given to the effects of the double interference with the environment and the accumulation of the impact of works which has been conducted in case of first line as well as by the effects caused by its operation; - It is assumed that the construction of the pipeline in the Swedish sea waters would involve crossing through a cod spawning area (see points 11 and 13 of the position of 16 February 2007); therefore, an exhaustive assessment of the project impact on the population of this species should be carried out and appropriate measures to minimise the expected impact or to compensate for damage to the environment should be envisaged as well as an economic or legal instruments should be planned for the possible adverse economic effects to be set off, e.g. for the Polish fisheries (in relation as well to the adverse effects on other fish species); - In referring to point 10 of the position of 16 February 2007, I should like to emphasise the need to make an inventory of chemical and traditional weapons stocked in the vicinity of the proposed investment project (with reference to the current pipeline alternatives), and to define the procedure for responding in the event of collisions and damages connected with such an objects. The environmental impact assessment documentation should include detailed analysis and sea bottom maps enclosed to illustrate this matter. It is also necessary to carry out an assessment of the impact of the released chemical warfare agents on the ecosystem (thus, on the Polish sea waters), taking into account the range and directions of their movement as well as the impact of the possible explosion of conventional weapons. The documentation should also envisage methods for monitoring the effects of the installation of the gas pipeline and those for minimising or compensating for the possible damage to the environment; - It is necessary to assess the extent to which the construction of the gas pipeline may lead to the erosion of natural thresholds which separate sea sub-basins with different salinity; thus, characterised by certain biological differentiation (e.g. in the areas southwest of Gotland, which could change the level of salinity in the Polish sea waters). 4. Commissioning: - It is necessary to precisely define the manner, time (date and duration) and place of the discharge of water used in carrying out the pressure test (point 8 of the position of 16 February 2007) and also to perform an assessment of the impact of this process, with consideration given to its direct and indirect effects. The environmental impact assessment should cover, inter alia, the dynamics of this process, the possible disturbance of the sea bottom and the spreading of the displaced sediments as well as other physical disturbances (including noise emission), the impact of the pressure test on the salinity of the Baltic Sea waters and on sea organisms, taking into account the bacteriological and chemical 3

4 composition of the discharged water, the possible impact of the water discharge on the migration and spawning of fish (including the migration of herring) and the impact on the quality of bathing water (e.g., on the Polish coast). 5. Operation: - The documentation should contain analysis of the safety of the gas pipeline at the sections where it is not expected to be under the sea bottom, including analysis of the impact of sea currents, waves, seiche, storms as well as the freezing effect in shallow waters during the winter. 6. Liquidation stage: - The documentation (according to the point 18 of the position of 16 February 2007) should contain a description of the procedure and assessment of the impact to the environment of decommissioning of the pipeline and its possible disassembly. Giving all the mentioned above remarks I would like to express my hope to continue the good cooperation in the frame of environmental impact assessment procedure. 4

5 Sent to: Points of contact of the Parties of origin, according to the website of the Espoo Convention: Ms. Seija Rantakallio Ministry of the Environment Kasarmikatu 25, Helsinki PoBox 35, FIN Government FINLAND Mr. Matthias Sauer Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Alexander Str. 3 D Berlin GERMANY Mr. Evgeny Gorshkov Ministry of Natural Resources Department of International Cooperation Gruzinskaya Str. 4/6 B Moscow D-242, GSP-5 RUSSIAN FEDERATION Ms. Inger Alness Swedish Environmental Protection Agency SE Stockholm SWEDEN Communicated to: Points of contact of the Affected Parties, according to the website of the Espoo Convention: Mr. Harry Liiv Ministry of Environment Narva mnt 7 A Tallinn ESTONIA Ms. Sandija Snikere Ministry of the Environment 25 Peldu street LV-1494 Riga LATVIA Mr. Vitalijus Auglys Ministry of Environment Jaksto 4/9 LT VILNIUS LITHUANIA 5

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