July 26, 2021
The ecology ministries of Montenegro and the Republic of Srpska have agreed to establish an expert team to examine the possible impact of the Buk Bijela hydropower plant on the Tara river in Montenegro.
The construction of HPP Buk Bijela began in mid-May, and on several occasions environmental organizations have warned that its impact on the environment will be felt outside the borders of BiH in Montenegro.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism of Montenegro Danilo Mrdak has initiated a meeting on the Buk Bijela project with Minister of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska Srebrenka Golić. It was held at the headquarters of power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) in Trebinje. ERS General Manager Luka Petrović also attended the meeting, the Montenegrin ministry said on its website.
Mrdak: any solution that guarantees that the Buk Bijela artificial lake will not have a negative impact on the Tara river and that no part of the Tara river will be submerged is acceptable to us
The two sides agreed to form an expert team of seven members, whose task will be to review the project documentation, structure and planned operation of HPP Buk Bijela, and to find a joint solution for the maximum water level of the artificial lake.
Any technical, technological and engineering solution that guarantees that the future artificial lake will not have negative impacts on the Tara river and that no part of the Tara river will be submerged is completely acceptable to us, said Mrdak.
He said that a new environmental impact assessment report for HPP Buk Bijela will be finished in the next few days in order to comply with the ESPOO Convention (UN Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context). Authorities will organize a public consultation on the EIA from September 1 in Montenegro, Radio Free Europe reported.
Objections received during the public consultation will be sent to the BiH authorities, which will forward them to the Republic of Srpska, Mrdak added.
Documentation on HPP Buk Bijela handed to Montenegrin delegation
Minister Srebrenka Golić said that the meeting was a big success.
The two sides already agreed on a number of issues and made a plan of future activities related to the Buk Bijela project, Golić added.
The delegations of Montenegro and the Republic of Srpska will meet again in Foča after reviewing the complete documentation and visit the location of the future hydropower plant.
ERS handed over the technical documentation for the project to the Montenegrin delegation.
Luka Petrović said that all issues will be resolved bilaterally, which is the best way to do it. The first meeting has already given concrete results, he added.