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Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Opinion of tools

Name of the case study
Project for a New Bridge over The Danube (Vidin -Calafat)

Name of tool
Preliminary EIA report

Opinion of tool - argumentation for choosing the tool
The tool was chosen in accordance with EU legislation and respective national legislation in Bulgaria and Romania where an EIA report for the project is mandatory.
The relevant Environmental Legislation to be considered comprises:
• EIA Directive (EU legislation) on Environmental Impact Assessment of the effect of projects on the environment as amended in 1997;
• Bulgarian regulation No 4 on Environmental Impact Assessment;
• Romanian Law on Environmental Protection No 137/1995.

EIA is required by Bulgarian national legislation (Environmental Protection Act) for national and regional investment development projects, programmes, regional and urban plans and their changes, and for plans, leading to land-use change for specific activities.

A Preliminary Environment Impact Study (EIS) was accomplished before the preliminary EIA. EIS was a part of an overall investigation program comprising economic, financial and social analysis, geological and hydrotechnical investigations.
Apart from the investigation programmes a report was elaborated named "Analysis of the impacts of Danube Bridge 2 on the management of municipal solid waste and construction waste". The different waste generation sources caused by the bridge construction and their impact on the municipal waste collection and disposal system were analyses. Potential areas for waste land filling were identified. The Preliminary EIA Report was based on all these studies.

Opinion of tool - barriers for the tool implementation
Difficulties in compiling the information were mainly caused by the insufficient data base on flora and fauna.
The available topographic maps proved to be outdated.

Opinion of tool - assessment by tool users
The general EIA conclusion on the project was that there was No project alternative concerning the bridge location (the other one would be a ´zero alternative´ e.g. not to build the bridge and to continue using the existing ferryboat complex). The new bridge was expected to take up some of the traffic passing through the towns of Vidin and Calafat and currently causing air pollution and noise. The deviation of the whole motor-vehicle traffic from the urban territories was considered favourable for both settlements. The expected decrease of traffic jams would result in lower emission of pollutants.

It was highly recommended to establish an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) based on the mitigation measures proposed in EIA. EMP should be approved before starting the construction work.

It is important to outline that recommendations were made for the design, construction and operation of both the bridge and the adjacent infrastructure as a result of EIA implementation. The final EIA is to focus more explicitly on sustainable development issues concerning the town of Vidin and the forthcoming urban infrastructure reconstruction to support the bridge operation. EIA also recommended a comprehensive social and economic assessment and a detailed flora and fauna mapping to be undertaken at the next project phases.

The collaboration of the project team with Bulgarian and Romanian ministries and municipalities contributed to the successful implementation of the tool. It provided for active public involvement in the discussions (where all the actors involved were present) and contributed to raising public awareness on a national investment project with high impact on the social, environmental and economic development. During the first public discussion (before the elaboration of the Preliminary EIA) the project team gathered needed information for the archaeological situation in proximity to the new bridge site. Thus a detailed investigation was undertaken and an archaeological site of a national importance was identified and developed for further investigation and opening to the public.

The tool implementation in a transboundary co-operation process provided an organisation scheme that could be applied in other similar situations. The tool implementation provided the information needed for tailoring the bridge impacts to the municipal policy for sustainable urban development.

The tool effectiveness has been already proved through its implementation in various Bulgarian project assessments. In the particular case the tool provided framework opportunities for trans-border co-operation (between Romania and Bulgaria) under differing national socio-economic, environmental and legislative conditions.

The users consider the tool useful and relevant in a process involving many actors. The structure of the tool provides for tracing mutually related impacts and is also open-ended (enables the users to add peculiar fields for investigation when needed).

Opinion of tool - reviewer\'s assessment
The preliminary EIA identified and assessed the direct and indirect effects of the construction of the bridge over the Danube River. Important advantage was the additional analysis of specific elements concerning recreational zones and the implementation of the tool in the early stages of the project. In that way the risks for the environment, human beings and settlements were identified and relevant measures were recommended before the design of the bridge was decided upon.

Some recommendations: social, economic and urban planning parameters and criteria should be more comprehensively explored.

What tools were used to assess sustainability?

Preliminary EIA report

More information

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