South Stream Transport has published the findings of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Turkish Sector of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline.
The ESIA Report confirms earlier findings that construction and operation of the four underwater pipelines is not expected to have a significant impact in Turkey or on the Black Sea environment.
In order to develop the Project in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, South Stream Transport has conducted an impact assessment consisting of two parallel processes: an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in accordance with national Turkish legislation; and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in alignment with the guidelines of international finance institutions, such as those of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). While the EIA serves to meet national legislative requirements, the ESIA ensures a consistent approach for the entire Project across all three countries.
The final Turkish EIA Report following national legislation was submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation and disclosed at the end of May 2014 so that people may submit additional feedback to be considered for the final EIA Report decision. The Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation is expected to issue its conclusion in the coming weeks. The ESIA process following international guidelines is expected to last until early autumn.
The ESIA Report has been prepared by independent international experts and provides additional information on environmental, cultural heritage and socio-economic aspects. The ESIA Report includes information regarding the Project’s stakeholder engagement process and addresses topics such as bio-diversity and fisheries in the Black Sea, unplanned events (incidents) and trans-boundary impacts.
People with an interest in the Project are invited to review the ESIA Report and submit their feedback and comments on the assessment to South Stream Transport via e-mail, post or the company’s website. In addition, public consultation meetings will be held in Istanbul, Ankara and Trabzon and South Stream Transport will consult NGOs and fishery organisations on the report. Any feedback received will be considered for the final version of the ESIA Report, South Stream Transport said.