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Green Action sues ministry for giving green light for HES Kosinj hydropower complex

July 10, 2018

Photo: HEP
Green Action sues ministry for giving green light for HES Kosinj hydropower complex

Croatia’s civil society organization Green Action has filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court in Rijeka against the positive environmental impact assessment of the Environmental Protection and Energy Ministry for the HES Kosinj hydropower complex.

In mid-June, Croatia’s state power utility (HEP) received approval from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy for the construction of HES Kosinj.

In the process of environmental impact assessment for HES Kosinj the legal requirements for the environmental protection were not met, Green Action said in a press release.

The project should be evaluated as unacceptable for the environment due to the shortcomings of the environmental impact study, as well as certain failures and errors in the procedure, said Željka Leljak Gracin, Green Action’s lawyer.

HES Kosinj is part of a wider EUR 500 million upgrade of the existing hydropower plant (HPP) Senj. The plan includes the construction of two reservoirs with three dams, as well as the Kosinj and Senj hydropower plants.

Probably the most problematic issue is the construction of a more than 6 kilometers long grout curtain involving the injection of more than 75,000 tonnes of cement into sensitive underground ecosystems in order to ensure waterproofing of the reservoir in this porous, karst terrain, Green Action said on its website.

The HES Kosinj hydropower complex is also problematic because it is planned in a natural area that partly overlaps with the ecological network NATURA 2000, and because the environmental impact assessment was separately, rather than jointly, conducted for HES Kosinj and HPP Senj, Green Action noted.

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