ClientEarth has submitted a complaint to the Finnish administrative court in Vaasa to halt the construction of a 374 kilometre-long section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the country.
Last month, the Southern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency approved a water permit needed for the construction of for the pipeline in the Finnish exclusive economic zone.
ClientEarth argues that the decision to grant the permit was groundless and that the impact of the project on the Baltic Sea had been poorly assessed.
Marcin Stoczkiewicz, Head of ClientEarth’s Central & Eastern Europe operations, said: “The data provided by the investor are partly outdated, partly incomplete, and in some instances, erroneous. In this case, the granting of a building permit is unacceptable.”
The Regional State Administrative Agency has agreed with the investor’s conclusions despite numerous concerns about the impact the pipeline will have on marine life in the Baltic Sea. This includes the damage that will be caused by detonating ammunition from the Second World War, currently sitting on the sea floor.
Around 55 pieces of ammunition were found in Finnish territory along the path of the future pipeline. Underwater detonations can cause serious harm to protected marine mammals. Harbour porpoises, grey and ringed seals and wild marine birds may suffer injuries or even die due to the detonations.
Stoczkiewicz added: “The Baltic Sea is a complex ecosystem and any loss of protected marine life in Finnish territory will inevitably have negative consequences for Polish Natura 2000 areas.”
In addition to environmental concerns, ClientEarth noted that the construction of the pipeline threatens the European Union’s energy security, making the EU more dependent on fossil fuels.
ClientEarth had previously submitted its remarks on the project in public consultations held in Finland, Germany, Poland and Sweden.