Case: Appeal of the Environmental Impact Assessment Conclusion for Polisske VES
Case Overview: The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure for Polisske VES was conducted with significant violations of environmental legislation both by the business entity and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (referred to as the Ministry of Ecology as of 2023). The Ministry of Ecology blatantly disregarded the established EIA procedure and issued a conclusion allowing the planned activities despite being legally obliged to deny the issuance of the permit.
Parties: EPL (International Charitable Organization “Environment–People–Law“), Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
Construction and operation of Polisske VES are planned in the center of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and directly on the border of the Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve.
The project includes the construction of nine (9) wind turbine installations. The height of the wind turbines to the hub axis is 120 meters, and the rotor diameter is 151 meters.
The EIA report for Polisske VES lacks descriptions of the current environmental state of the planned VES territory, the potential changes without implementing the planned activities, and particularly regarding birds and bats, which are most affected by VES construction.
The report also lacks descriptions of bird and bat species likely to be affected by the planned activities and their alternative options, as well as descriptions and assessments of the potential impacts on these species.
The report does not include details of the measures aimed at preventing, mitigating, or eliminating significant adverse impacts on these animals, as required by paragraphs 3-5 and 7 of Article 2 and Article 6 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Law.
The EIA report contains several instances of false information stating that the planned activity territory does not belong to the structural elements of the ecological network of Kyiv Oblast.
According to Article 4, Part 5, Paragraph 2 of Ukraine’s Law on the Permitting System in Economic Activities, the submission of an incomplete set of documents and the identification of inaccurate information in the documents submitted by the business entity are grounds for refusing to issue a permit.
Moreover, the Respondent failed to consider and account for timely public comments related to the planned activity, which, according to Article 12 of Ukraine’s Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, is an independent basis for canceling the EIA conclusion.
In September 2019, EPL filed a lawsuit, and since 2020, the case has been under consideration in the court of first instance. However, for two years, without any explanation, there was no procedural activity from the court’s side regarding the review and resolution of the mentioned case.
On November 29, 2022, the Kyiv City Administrative Court issued a decision to dismiss the administrative claim filed by EPL.