Macedonia HPPs and breach of EIA SEA framework

, NGOs

HPP Boškov Most is a 68 MW project with a proposed 33 metre high dam. It was first conceived in 1982. The project lies in Northwest Macedonia within the Mavrovo National Park and is situated in the Municipality of Mavrovo-Rostuse and the Municipality of Debar. Since Mavrovo NP has no spatial plan the investor was obliged to conduct a Spatial (urban) plan for the project (Spatial Infrastructure Plan for HPP Boskov Most) which is subject to SEA procedures. The Spatial plan for Boskov Most was adopted in 2014 without an SEA report.
Lukovo Pole Dam/Reservoir (39 million m3) and HPP Crn Kamen is a 6 MW project which will generate an estimated 159 GWh per year in addition to increasing output from existing HPPs. It was first planned in 1986 as part of the Mavrovo hydropower system. The project lies in the Mavrovo National Park in Mavrovo-Rostuse Municipality in the Korab mountain range (above 1500m height). The scheme would involve building a dam 71 metres high and constructing almost 20 km of supply channels to allow inter-basin transfer of water, so both the Adriatic and Aegean river basins are affected. An EIA was initiated in 2010, but the consultancy company withdrew and a new EIA procedure was initiated in 2014. Since Mavrovo NP has no spatial plan, the investor is obliged to prepare a Spatial (urban) Plan for the project which is a subject to SEA procedure. The procedure for the Spatial Plan for the project started in 2013 without parallel SEA procedures.
SHPP Tresonce is located in Mavrovo National park and the Mavrovo-Rostuse Municipality on the Mala River which drains to the Adriatic river basin. This project has a Tyrolean intake with an installed capacity of 1.8 MW. The scheme was first designed in 1982 and it has been in operation since 2013. According to the provisions for EIA in Law on Environment and the relevant bylaws, HPPs with an installed capacity of less than 10 MW do not require an obligatory EIA. Instead the regulations require production of a less demanding ‘Elaboration for Environmental Protection’ (EEP). However, the legislation sets selection criteria under the EIA Directive provisions when deciding whether project is subject to EEP or EIA procedure. Objectors argue that the Ministry of Environment failed to take into account project characteristics, location and possible negative impact on nature when it took the decision that only an EEP was required.
SHPP Vratnica is a 1.3 MW project located on the Ljubotenska River draining to the Aegean. Part of the project falls within the aquatic protective zone “Rasce” and the Municipality of Jegunovce. A construction permit has been issued but work has not yet commenced. Since there was no Spatial (urban) plan for the area the investor was obliged to prepare a Spatial (urban) plan for the project which is a subject to SEA procedure. The SEA report prepared for the project Spatial plan in 2013 notes the possible negative impact and obliges the investor to conduct EIA study for the project. No EIA study was prepared for the project.

source: WWF SEE Change Net

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