Controversial Serbia private HPPs and breach of EIA SEA framework

, NGOs

HPP Brodarevo 1 and 2 is a controversial project which potentially affects rivers Lim, Drina, Sava and Danube. Although the Brodarevo 2 dam would be constructed within Serbia, the resulting impoundment would flood part of the territory of Montenegro. During the public debate in the case of hydropower plants on river Lim in Serbia (construction of Brodarevo 1 and Brodarevo 2 hydropower plants) in August 2012, when NGO activists wanted to express their opposition for the project, they were severely beaten by security guards at the public debate organized by the former Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning.

The Spatial Plan of the Municipality of Prijepolje was instituted as a legal requirement due to the potential impacts on land use from the HPP Brodarevo 1 and 2 projects. An accompanying SEA was prepared and adopted in 2011 with a notional period for public consultation between March and April, 2011. The final SEA has not been published in accordance with the regulations. Under Serbian spatial planning legislation major infrastructure development, including large HPPs, must be made the subject of a Special Purposes Spatial Plan, which is distinct and separate from the Municipal Spatial Plan. The Spatial Plan (Special Purposes) for Hydropower Plants Brodarevo 1 and 2 was conducted in parallel to the Municipality of Prijepolje Spatial Plan. Both of these plans were subject to SEA procedures. However, the public debate to consider the Special Purposes Spatial Plan was held in Belgrade, during a state of emergency and in mid winter when snow restricted travel to the capital. Those NGOs and public representatives from the area of Brodarevo 1 and 2 who managed to reach Bel-grade were unable to attend the hearing because it was stated that they did not have the required permits to enter a government building.

SHPP Seoce was authorised on the Gračanica River in the Lim River catchment by the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environment in 2013. It was judged not to require an EIA although the site lay within the “Kamena Gora Landscape of outstanding features”. Construction was halted in August 2014 by the Organisation for Forest Management due to degradation of forests and forest lands and contravention of laws on nature protection.

source: WWF & SEE Change Net

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