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14 October 2013 – The decision to revise the environmental permit no 8 of 5th July 2012 issued by the Regional Environmental Protection Agency in Timisoara for the cyanide-based gold mine proposal at Certej is unmotivated and lacks legal grounds. 4 NGOs actively involved in monitoring and campaigning against illegal large scale mining proposals – the Independent Center for the Development of Environmental Resources, the Save Bucharest Association, the Butterfly Effect Association and the Green Transylvania Association – alongside numerous citizens from the area directly affected by the Certej gold mine proposal today submitted a contestation at the Hunedoara Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the announced decision to revise the environmental permit for the Certej mine.
The revisal decided by the Hunedoara EPA only comes to confirm that the initial environmental permit no 8 of 5th July 2012 has been illegally issued. The documentation currently requested by EPA from the project owner in order to revise the environmental permit should have been at the base of the initial environmental permit. What is more, the initial environmental permit is currently challenged in court by the Ministry for the Environment, a case pending at the Bucharest Tribunal and in which the Independent Center for the Development of Environmental Resources and the Save Bucharest Association intervened as parties.
Environmental permits maybe revised in case projects already approved go through significant modifications. However, the revisal under discussion is not occasioned by such modifications, but is a process that aims at supplying gaps in the initial documentation submitted by the project owner. As such, the aim is to cover and write out a defective documentation that should have been rejected by the competent authority and not accepted for the issuing of the environmental permit.
The revisal was decided based on the fact that the Certej gold mine proposal partially covers the surface of a NATURA 2000 site – ROSPA 0132 Muntii Metaliferi. However, this reality was known ever since the initial environmental permit was issued, as the environmental permit itself mentions „The mining project’s footprint covers 108,7 hectares of the NATURA 2000 site ROSPA 0132 Muntii Metaliferi, on the Măcrișului River valley. This surface represents almost 0,4% from the entire surface of the site, which totals 26 671 hectares. The NATURA 2000 site ROSPA 0132 Muntii Metaliferi has been designated in 2011”.
The obligation to undertake an appropriate assessment of the project’s implications for the site is stipulated by the Emergency Ordinance no 57 of 20 June 2007 on the regime of protected natural areas, the preservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna, Article 28 according to which „Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site’s conservation objectives”. The Certej project owner has not fulfilled the obligation to undertake such assessment before obtaining the environmental permit no 8 of 5th July 2012.
„What strikes us again is the obvious attitude from the part of state authorities to foster the interests of mining companies. These authorities function as licensing offices for mining projects, fabricating all kinds of solutions to legalize illegal mining projects. A quarter of the Certej gold mine proposal surface covers a NATURA 2000 site and this project received the environmental permit although no where is assessed the impact of blasting and cyanide on this site of Community interest”, declared Ştefania Simion, legal coordinator for Mining Watch Romania.
For more details please contact: Ştefania Simion, +40741137266 or at email@example.com
02/10/2013 3320 views
October 2, 2013 – In July 2012, The Regional Environment Protection Agency in Timișoara released the environmental permit for the cyanide mining project in Certej, Hunedoara. Its details – devastating impact on the environment, legal faults, network of shareholders and owning companies – make the Certej project alike the one proposed for Roșia Montană, drawing heavy criticism from Romanian environmental protection organizations.
The Ministry of Environment reacted with a two month delay, and only following requests from the civil society. Shortly after, the environment minister Rovana Plumb, declared that ”the environment permit for Certej was released without respecting the legal procedures. We are talking about an illegal and irresponsible agreement”. The National Environment Protection Agency, subordinate to the Ministry of Environment, submitted a request for the anullment or the environmental agreement for the Certej mining proiect, at the Bucharest Court of Appeal. The Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources intervened as a party in this case.
At the first hearing, the Bucharest Court of Appeal declined having the competence to rule on the case, and sent it to the Bucharest Tribunal. At the next hearing, scheduled for the 1st of October 2013, thus, approximately one year after the first hearing, the National Environment Protection Agency asked for another re-schedule, to better prepare itself for the subject. The plaintiff’s low interest for the case and poor preparation for supporting the arguments in the brief can be clearly seen.
At the same time, the defender chosen by Deva Gold SA in the current trial is the Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen law firm. The delegated barrister is Mrs. Ana Diculescu-Șova, mother of the Minister Delegate for infrastructure projects of national interest and foreign investments, Mr. Dan Șova. The latter, as a member of Government, worked on the ”National plan for Strategic Investiment and Job Creation”, which was presented to the public in July of this year. The mining project proposed by Deva Gold SA at Certej is among the projects presented in this plan.
Following environment minister Rovana Plumb’s plea for cyanide mining in Roșia Montană, the ministry’s participation in this trial seems to be a simple act of feigning interest. It is as if the Environment Ministry would have Deva Gold spill 26.488 tons of cyanide directly into the Mureș River and then taking the estimated profits directly from the accounts of the Romanian National Bank. This might indeed be the cheaper option for Romania, as it might also be cheaper to pay the Șova clan the amounts that will result from their participation in the judicial representation for the mining companies, on the one hand, and the government lobby on the other” said Tudor Brădățan, member of Mining Watch Romania.
For additional information: Tudor Brădățan, Phone: +40745370524, firstname.lastname@example.org
13/09/2013 3244 views