Description of environmental impacts

The routing of the planned Hermanowice – Strachocina gas pipeline is crossing the following protected areas of the Natura2000 European network of protected areas:

  • PLB 180001 „Pogórze Przemyskie” (approximately 24.8 km section of the gas pipeline);
  • PLB 180003 „Góry Słonne” (a section of approximately 10.9 km of the gas pipeline);
  • PLH 180012 „Ostoja Przemyska” (a section of approximately 26.5 km of the gas pipeline);
  • PLH 180013 „Góry Słonne” (a section of approximately 13.3 km of the gas pipeline);
  • PLH 180007 „Rzeka San” (a section of approximately 90 m of the gas pipeline).

Inventory of natural resources along the planned route of the gas pipeline was carried out as part of the preparation of the environmental impact assessment documentation. The results of this inventory were used as basis for the report entitled: “ Report on environmental impact assessment for the project consisting of construction of a 700 mm (diameter) high-pressure (8.4 MPa) gas pipeline between Hermanowice and Strachocina with auxiliary infrastructure.” The following protected natural habitats have been identified during inventory of the Natura 2000 areas crossed by the pipeline.:

  • lowland and highland hay meadows (Arrhenatherion elatiois – Code 6510), crossed by the pipeline along a section of a total length of approximately
    3,781 m;
  • semi-natural dry grasslands (Festuco-Brometea – Code 6210) crossed by the pipeline along a section of a total length of approximately 1,100 m.

In view of the characteristics of the project being planned, all the nuisances to the natural environment will be related to the construction phase. Realization of the investment will involve cutting of shrubs and trees, occupation of land, draining of earthwork sites and also emission of noise, air and water pollution and solid waste. The range of these interactions will be restricted to the construction and installation work strip of a width of 22 meters. These nuisances will cease after completion of the construction works. During operation of the planned investment, environmental impacts will only be possible in case of emergency failure.

In view of the need to prevent negative impacts of the investment on protected areas, including Natura2000 sites, the decision on environmental conditions for the project shall require the investor to comply with the following requirements:

  • limitation of the installation and assembly works strip to a width of 17 meters in areas of particular natural value;
  • collection of the sod layer with undamaged plants and their dormant forms, down to a depth of 20 cm in areas of particular natural value, in the period of October 1 – 31 and March 1 – 15;
  • transplantation of patches of all the habitats of protected plant species  occurring in the earth works area and exposed to destruction and their replacement after completion of the earth works;
  • execution of preparation works in the installation and assembly works strip in early spring or late autumn (cutting of trees and shrubs, mowing of the meadows and reeds) in order to exclude possibility of bird breeding in the area – March 31 to July 31 (fields, meadows, pastures) and March 10 – July 31 (forests);
  • execution of an ornithological survey of the installation and assembly works strip within 100 meters from the axis of the gas pipeline, on both sides of the working area, before initiation of the works;
  • shortening the period between preparation of the installation and assembly works strip and the execution of proper construction works to the minimum necessary;
  • preventing deliberate or incidental filling of small water bodies, pools, etc.;
  • application of solid fencing (height of 0.5 m) protecting the work sire in locations of intense amphibian migration; 
  • carrying out construction works in amphibian breeding areas outside the period from March 15 to October 15;
  • location of the technical supply base, construction material storage, earth yards, vehicle pools and technical roads in designated areas, possibly on hardened ground, outside river valleys and locations exposed to the risk of flooding and away from grounds with a high ground water table, areas of precipitation water stagnation, places of natural value, amphibian breeding and hibernation sites, etc.;
  • execution of the San River crossing (as well as crossings of other, selected water courses) using trenchless technologies, including HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling);
  • hydro-geological survey of the sites;
  • continuous environmental monitoring of the site, starting from preparation works, to completion of the project.

Permanent monitoring shall be ensured during operation of the gas pipeline, including application of equipment measuring and recording all the operating parameters of the gas pipeline and regular inspection of all technical equipment potentially responsible for occurrence of emergency situations creating threats to the natural environment.

Specific recommendations related to the prevention of negative impacts on the condition of habitats and protected species covered by the Natura2000 network (scope, object and location) are provided in the concluding sentence of the Decision on Environmental Conditions for the Project dated November 4, 2011, ref. WOOŚ.4203.2.2011.AH-59. The justification of the decision observes that „considering the location, character, scope of the project and the type of impacts generated as well as the implementation of measures aimed at protecting the natural environment, along with the terms of land use in the phases of realization and operation or usage of the project set forth by this decision, the project will not have significant impact on the resources, objects and components of the natural environment referred to in article 2, par. 1 of the legislative act dated April 16, 2004 on protection of the natural environment (Journal of Legislation, No. 151/2009, item 1220 as amended), including the scope and goals of natural environment protection in the above-mentioned Natura2000 sites, on the integrity of those areas and coherence of the Natura2000 network” (see page 22 of the decision’s justification).

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