Bulgaria's Environment Ministry has issued a positive ruling on the paperwork submitted to it by "Trans-Balkan Pipeline" for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.
The decision of the Bulgarian eco ministry does not mean a final approval and a go-ahead of the construction of the project but it allows the evaluation process to go ahead at public hearings; however, had it been negative, it would have killed the BA oil pipeline.
"The ruling of the competent institution is that the EIA paperwork has analyzed the risks for the environment that the Supreme Expert Environmental Council should take into account in the event of a realization or non-realization of the project on Bulgarian territory. Based on this rule, we can go ahead with the procedure for approval by organizing public hearings with the respective municipalities on Bulgarian territory, which is the responsibility of contractor," the Environment Ministry has said in a press statement published late Thursday night.
The eco ministry has sent a letter to the contractor - the Bulgarian-Greek-Russian company Trans-Balkan Pipeline with instructions for the further phases of the procedure. Thus, TBP is supposed to provide public access to the entire paperwork on the project, and to organize meetings for public hearings in towns and villages along the proposed route of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline.
The Environment Ministry further explains that public hearings can be held simultaneously in Bulgaria and Greece if the environmental authorities of both countries confirm that the entire paperwork is available to the public. (Source: Sofia News Agency)