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sader01 Apr 01, 2019 04:08 PM
An open-pit mine in a Natura 2000 protected area


I'm writing in regard to an open-pit mine project in Bulgaria. The affected Natura 2000 areas are BG0002019 and BG0001032. The Technical Report of the mine project mentions an Egyptian Vulture nesting site 300m from the construction site.
The construction of an open-pit mine and the air, noise and water pollution, as well as loss of habitat are a danger to the Natura 2000 areas and the species that inhabit them.
The Bulgarian authorities gave the go ahead for this project, yet this is appalling. Who, or what institution, can be contacted within the European Union to address this issue?

Kind regards,
Marcin Sadowski
Replies (2)
EEA Apr 02, 2019 11:39 AM
Dear M. Marcin Sadowski,

Thank you for contacting the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The EEA is the EU agency responsible for providing information on the European environment. The aim of the EEA is to ensure that decision-makers and the public are kept informed about the state and outlook of the environment. The EEA collects environmental data from the Member Countries, other EU institutions and international organisations. Based on this information, we produce reports on various environmental topics. Please be aware that the European environmental legislation is beyond the EEA’s working remit. The EEA neither sets nor enforces environmental policies and has no mandate for providing legal or technical assistance for complaints relating to the environmental legislation, and no powers of investigation related to the issue you raise in your email.

Having said that, we can indicate that, in principle, the Member States are responsible for taking appropriate measures to avoid the deterioration of habitat types and the significant disturbance of species in Natura 2000 sites in accordance with Article 6.2 of the Habitats Directive. It is also the responsibility of national or regional competent authorities to verify that the measures to avoid deterioration and significant disturbance are adequately enforced. Article 6.3 of the Habitat Directive details the procedure for assessment of projects and plans affecting Natura 2000 sites. You may want to consult the Frequently Asked Questions on Natura 2000 site for more information: http://ec.europa.eu/[…]/faq_en.htm#4-0 as well as to contact the Natura 2000 Unit at the European Commission, that may be able to provide you further information on this case: nature@ec.europa.eu.

Note that there is also the possibility to formally lodge a complaint with the European Commission against a European Member State about any measure, which is considered to be incompatible with Community law. However, to be admissible, a complaint has to relate to an infringement of Community law by a Member State. You may contact the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission directly http://ec.europa.eu/environment/contact/form_en.htm, or register a complaint at http://ec.europa.eu/[…]/complaints_en.htm. See also http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/law/complaints.htm.

You may also contact the unit dealing with complaints in the Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission at the following address:

Mr. Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea
Director "Implementation, Governance and Semester"
DG Environment
European Commission
200 rue de la Loi
BE-1049 Bruxelles

We hope that you may find this information useful.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service
sader01 Apr 02, 2019 03:42 PM
Thank you very much for the swift response.

Kind regards,