The route of “South Stream” gas pipeline consisted of an offshore section in the Black Sea aquatic territory and several onshore sections across the territories of the relevant countries.
Investment proposal “South Stream Gas Transmission Pipeline on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria” was part of “South Stream” project.
The gas transmission system within investment proposal “South Stream Gas Transmission Pipeline on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria” involved all major technological elements:
- Transit gas pipeline “Black Sea –Bulgarian-Serbian border, 540 km in length, with two route options;
- “Pasha dere” Receiving Terminal;
- Gas pipeline diversion from the South Stream gas pipeline for connection to the gas transmission network of the Republic of Bulgaria in the area of “Provadia” Compressor Station, with a 59 km long route;
- “Varna”, “Lozen”, and “Rasovo” Compressor Stations;
- “Provadiya” Gas Distribution Station at the end point of gas pipeline diversion from investment proposal “South Stream Gas Transmission Pipeline on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria”.
The development of the Appropriate Assessment Report was carried out on the basis of Art. 6 (3) and 6 (4) of Directive 92/43/EEC, Art. 31-34 of the Biological Diversity Act and the Decree on the conditions and procedure for implementation of Appropriate Assessments of plans, programs, projects, and investment proposals with regard to the conservation objectives and the subject of protection of the Natura 2000 sites, under Art. 31a of the Biological Diversity Act (BDA).
Sterna's team participated in the consortium "Gastec-PJSC YUZHIIGIPROGAZ" for the preparation of an Appropriate Assessment Report of investment proposal “South Stream Gas Transmission Pipeline on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria”, including the relevant Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria, as well as an Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
The major activities carried out by the team involved:
- Managing and administering the overall process for identification and selection of a comprehensive approach, methodology and methods, principles and environmental constraints for field studies and observations of the habitat types and the species, subject to protection in 23 sites of NATURA 2000 ecological network, falling within the project corridor:
- BG0000103 Galata
- BG0000104 Provadiysko-Royaksko plato
- BG0000138 Kamenitsa
- BG0000173 Ostrovche
- BG0000231 Belenska gora
- BG0000610 Reka Yantra
- BG0000239 Obnova – Karaman dol
- BG0000240 Studenets
- BG0000181 Reka Vit
- BG0000613 Reka Iskar
- BG0000627 Konunski dol
- BG0000508 Reka Skat
- BG0000614 Reka Ogosta
- BG0000336 Zlatia
- BG0000503 Reka Lom
- BG0000518 Vartopski dol
- BG0000521 Makresh
- BG0000498 Vidbol
- BG0000500 Voynitsa
- BG0002060 Galata
- BG0002038 Provadiysko-Royaksko plato
- BG0000240 Studenets
- BG0002009 Zlatiyata
- Studying the existing international experience and best practices in impact assessments and appropriate assessments of projects of similar subject and scale;
- Studying, gathering, and analyzing information from 39 municipalities, traversed by the pipeline route, ministries and state institutions, related to other investment proposals, plans and programs, completed or ongoing, which, if combined with the this project, would have an adverse impact on the N2K sites;
- Preparing analyses and assessments of the degree of likely impact on the conservation objectives and the subject of protection, as well as on the integrity of the sites and the coherence of the NATURA 2000 network;
- Implementing analyses and assessments based on field work, verification, deskwork and expert assessment, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and Modeling;
- Depicting the Natura 2000 sites and their elements;
- Identifying likely negative impacts and the connection between the elements of the IP and the likely impacts;
- Identifying the connection between the elements of the investment proposal and the expected impacts;
- Identifying the relationship between the different elements of the project, the spatial scope of the impact, the time range, the intensity and the reversibility of the potential impacts;
- Selecting an alternative option and drawing final conclusions about the type and degree of impact on the N2K sites, according to the criteria under Art. 22 of the Decree on the conditions and procedure for implementation of Appropriate Assessments of plans, programs, projects, and investment proposals with regard to the conservation objectives and the subject of protection of the Natura 2000 sites and Art. 32, paragraph 2 of the BDA;
- Developing measures to prevent, reduce and, where possible, eliminate the adverse impacts of the project implementation on the environment and the N2K sites.
- Implementing field studies of the biological diversity needed for the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
- Implementing analyses and assessments of impacts, and selecting an alternative for the purpose of developing an Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Elaborating measures to prevent, reduce, and, where possible, eliminate the adverse impacts of the project implementation on the environment, and developing a Monitoring Plan.
- Participating in 39 public discussions and consultations with interested communities, local authorities, and state institutions.