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An underwater fuel pipeline will be moved to Vasiliko

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An underwater fuel pipeline will be moved to Vasiliko

Following the green light given by the Environmental Authority, the proposed project, the relocation of the submarine pipeline, will take place in the sea area of the industrial area of Vasilikos in Larnaca Province and falls within the marine area of the area of the Spatial Development Plan of the area. for which it has been prepared.

The submarine pipeline has been inactive for about 30 years and appears to have been built in the late 1960s to transport fuel oil for the operational needs of the Vasilikos Cement plant's industrial facilities. The entire length of the pipeline that will be removed is underwater and has a length of about 500 m and a maximum depth of about 12 m. The condition of the pipeline is characterized as “good”. The pipe is made of steel and has an outer diameter of 8 ''. Due to the age of the pipeline, large parts of it are buried due to sediment transport, making its removal work difficult, posing risks to marine biodiversity, in case dredging or excavation is required.

Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEA) and an Environmental Opinion has been issued with No. Fax.02.10.013.015 and date 23.1.2017.

Neighboring activities in the area of Vasilikos are mainly industrial (eg cement production plant, waste treatment plant, fuel storage plant, quarry, etc.) and port.

Biodiversity

For the purposes of completeness of the information submitted, the length of the pipeline plus 100 m beyond its end point (ie a total of 600 m from the shoreline) and 10 m on either side of the pipeline was determined as the immediate study area. The total area of the immediate study area is 12,000 m2.

Regarding the morphology of the seabed at depths between 1 and 10 m from the shore, the sediment contains mainly sand. The seabed is flat with scattered rocky areas with macro plants mainly of the species Cystoseira sp. The zone between 10 and 20 m from the coast is quite similar to the shallowest zone while in this area the species Posidonia oceanica is found. Between 20 and 30 m from the shore the seabed shows small irregularities although it is usually flat. The largest meadows of Posidonia oceanica and Caulerpa prolifera are found in this zone. The seabed between 30 and 40 m from the coast is flat and the vegetation is less. Beyond 40 m the seabed is flat with fewer cavities and the sediment consists of fine mud.

Given the depth of the submarine pipeline (10 – 15 m above sea level), in the wider study area are found clusters of Posidonia oceanica, which are one of the most important and characteristic ecosystems of the Mediterranean seabed.

The mapping of Posidonia oceanica meadows in the study area is presented in the Environmental Baseline Survey (EBS) prepared and submitted by the developer. From the on-site visit of a diver crew it was observed that in some areas the pipeline passes near meadows of Posidonia oceanica (at a distance of about 10 m) while in another area the pipeline passes through meadows of this species. As the pipeline was installed about 55 years ago, over time meadows of this species have developed above the oil pipeline. As Posidonia oceanica meadows are a priority protected habitat according to Directive 92/43 / EU, the environmental sensitivity of the marine area is considered to be particularly high.

It is estimated that the sediment layer that has covered the pipeline is not very thick (up to 1 m) while these works will be carried out up to the shoreline so that the point where the pipeline enters the land can be seen. It is noted that the land part of the pipeline will not be removed except for the underwater part of it. Also, in the context of this work, it is suggested by the researchers that before the start of the emergence works of the pipeline to evaluate the possibility of transplanting Posidonia oceanica grasslands in a nearby area, in an appropriate way, to increase their chances of survival and not be affected , finally, from the demolition work of the pipeline.

In the context of the project evaluation, the Environmental Authority requested the views of the following Departments and Local Authorities for the specific project or for its potential impact on the environment:

Deputy Director of the Ministry of Shipping

Director of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research

Director of the Public Works Department

Director of the Geological Survey Department

Director of the Department of Antiquities

Director of the Labor Inspection Department

Larnaca District

President of the Community Council Marie

President of the Community Council of Pentakomos

President of the Community Council of Zygio

President of the Community Council of Tochni

President of the Community Council of Psematismenos

President of the Community Council of Kalavasos

The Opinion

The Environmental Authority, in formulating its position, took into account the information submitted under Article 24 of the Law and the views of the involved departments expressed.

The Environmental Authority, based on article 24 (5) of the Law, lists the main reasons why an Environmental Impact Assessment Study is not required, with reference to the relevant criteria of the Fourth Annex and proposes the characteristics of the project and / or the measures. provided to prevent or prevent effects which would otherwise be significant and adverse to the environment. Specifically, consider the following criteria:

A) Characteristics of the project: The dismantling and removal of the submarine pipeline is expected to last three (3) months. The project requires limited work, and includes routine work on such projects. The natural resources that will be required are minimal. The generated waste will be of a limited quantity and will be subject to management in accordance with the current legislation. Measures to prevent and mitigate environmental impacts will also be implemented to ensure that any environmental impacts are effectively reduced.

B) Location of the project: The project is located within the area of the Spatial Development Plan of the area of Vasilikos in which uses are allowed, among others, such as the construction and operation of storage terminals and distribution of petroleum and operation of anchorages. There are no protection areas, or densely populated areas or landscapes and sites of historical, cultural or archaeological significance in the project area.

C) Type and characteristics of the potential impacts: For the area of the Spatial Development Plan of the area of Vasilikos, a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEA) has been prepared, which has been examined and an Environmental Opinion has been issued and which includes a framework that defines and monitoring of individual projects in the area. From the implementation of the project it is expected that no accumulation of effects will be observed in the area. Also, the project will be completed in a short time (three (3) months).

Overall, the conditions set out in this Environmental Approval will mitigate the impact of the project to a manageable degree and without any remaining significant impact on the environment.

The Environmental Authority, taking into account the above, does not object to the carrying out of the dismantling and removal works of the submarine pipeline under the terms and conditions mentioned in the Annex of Terms that is attached.

Source: www.philenews.com

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