On Tuesday, experts from Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ), a state-owned special purpose company responsible for the development of Poland’s nuclear power plants, participated in substantive cross-border consultations on the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant in Pomerania, north Poland (18 July).
Domestic public consultations are also planned as part of the power plant’s environmental impact assessment procedure, PEJ said via a press release.
“Completion of substantive exchange of comments and meetings with countries that requested it is a very important stage of environmental proceedings. We are transparent, enabling other countries to pass on to Poland their questions related to the investment, providing detailed answers and thus meeting the provisions of the Espoo Convention. I am glad that all our information and explanations have been accepted and that other countries understand our needs and plans, and that they participated very efficiently in substantive consultations regarding the impact of this project on the environment,” said Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure.
Fourteen countries participated in the cross-border consultations. The Czech Republic, Finland and the Netherlands did not submit any comments or questions to the environmental report prepared by PEJ and fully accepted its final text and the results of the analyses. Written comments were submitted by: Austria, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and Hungary.
At the request of four countries – Austria, Denmark, Latvia and Germany – the Polish side organised intergovernmental cross-border consultations in Warsaw in the form of a meeting of experts, in line with Article 5 of the Espoo Convention. The meeting confirmed that there were no further questions or doubts regarding the impact of the nuclear power plant development in Poland.
The Espoo Convention is an international UN instrument that provides a legal framework for international cooperation in assessing and managing the environmental impact of planned activities, in particular in a transboundary context.
“This is undoubtedly a huge success for our company as an investor in the power plant and at the same time the entity that prepared the environmental impact assessment report and the cross-border report for the first investment of this type in Poland. I am convinced that the involvement of both the company’s employees and representatives of the General Directorate for Environmental Protection had a significant impact on the smooth running of the entire cross-border procedure,” said Łukasz Młynarkiewicz, acting President of PEJ.
The cross-border consultations started in September 2022 with the transfer of the cross-border documentation to the countries participating in this international assessment. It consisted of a 1,200-page study, prepared in English, German and Lithuanian to assess possible transboundary impact on the environment and a 19,000-page environmental report, prepared in Polish.
The completion of substantive cross-border arrangements does not finalise the procedure for obtaining an environmental decision. Ongoing proceedings by Poland’s General Directorate for Environmental Protection also foresee public consultations. Additionally, PEJ will now apply for a “location decision” as part of the project’s administrative process.