Why were green concerns ignored and how dangerous are the Nordstream pipelines?
The first of the official Nord Stream II Environmental Impact Assessment reports, in this case for Finland, was released on 3 April 2017. For a 591 page technical document with appendices, only four weeks are given for the public to consider the report before the consultation closes in Finland this month. https://www.nord-stream2.com/permitting-finland/eia-documentation-in-finland/
This tick box exercise raises some serious concerns about the environmental impact of not only Nordstream 2 but the failure to consider the same over Nordstream 1. Surely if this is to be done properly much more time is required.
This also raises the question whether such an approach with lots of paper and no proper assessment occurred last time? So before we even talk about the NS2 permission processes we should be talking about an assessment of the impact of NS1. This is not proposed but how can affected national governments give permits to NS2 without looking at what has happened to NS1. Since German regulators have received 6000 pages, why have Finland (and potentially other Scandanavian states) received less? It is interesting that not all the states in the Baltic have obtained maximum disclosure from NS2 about the environmental impact, past and present, of undersea oil pipelines.
Even the ever-changing sea bed requires a full assessment of the Baltic, not reliance on NS1 surveys. If NS2 propose to rely on previous surveys this should be heavily contested. The Baltic seabed changes over time due to sea state, currents, and other natural processes, so the longer the period between the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II deployments, the likelihood that the Nord Stream I survey would still be accurate in mapping the seabed and identifying any potential munitions or other hazards would approach zero. Thus, Nord Stream II would need to do an entirely new survey in its development process prior to deployment to increase the probability that hazards are properly identified and avoided or mitigated.
And finally, following World War II dumping zones were established for chemical and conventional munitions in fairly well-defined areas of the Baltic (including near the Danish island of Bornholm, and in the central Baltic near the Swedish island of Gotland). During the Soviet era, vessels (many of which were subcontracted) assigned to dump weapons stockpiles instead dumped them on the way to those sites, sometimes as a cost-savings measure. The impact of this is that no-one fully knows where and how explosive dumped chemical and ballistic weapons are on or just buried below the seabed.