Center for Environment has filed a lawsuit against the Decision of Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska, which concludes that investor in the counstruction of small hydropower plant Hotovlje, „Delaso“ Ltd. Teslić, on Vrhovinska river in Kalinovik municipality, is not obliged to conduct an environmental impact assessment.
Without environmental impact assessment of the hydropower plant „Hotovlje“, with 4,68 MW installed capacity, it is really difficult to estimate real environmental damage, which would occur during construction, as well as during the exploitation of this hydropower plant.
„The planned location is in very fragile ecosystem of Upper-Neretva water system, which is earlier even planned to be protected as „Habitat of managed areas“, by the opinion of Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage RS, and it is extremely important to keep it preserved.“ – stated Redžib Skomorac, Energy and Climate Change Program Assistant in Center for Environment.
As stated in Aarhus center in BiH, Decision itself has a number of controversies.
„Although the planned location for small hydropower plant is in uninhabited area and plant itself is just below the threshold for the mandatory impact assessment, we still consider that it is not legitimate to expect that it will have a negligible impact on the environment. Many investors for small hydropower plants with capacity under 1 MW have recived the Decision from the Ministry that they need to conduct an environmental impact assessment, so why not this one?“ – asked Nina Kreševljaković, Legal Advisor of Aarhus Center in BiH.
The lawsuit referes to the relevant regulations, namely those provisions which clearly regulate the exceptions in which an impact assessment must be carried out regardless of the planned capacity of the sHPP.
„In addition, we refer to the regulations of international law and because of all of the above, we hope for a fair judicial epilogue of this specific case”, said the team from the Center for Environment.