Almargem sends complaint to the European Commission about the RECAPE of the Olhão Variant

«It is Almargem's understanding that sufficient facts have been gathered to justify the presentation of a complaint in a reasoned manner»

Scilla odorata Link (Algarve hyacinth), one of the species with conservation value (credits: Luís Brás)

The Almargem association announced today that it had presented, to the European Commission, a Reasoned Complaint, regarding the process of “Verification of the Environmental Conformity Report of the Execution Project (RECAPE) of EN125 – Olhão Variant”.

This complaint is due to the Portuguese State's alleged non-compliance with Council Directive 92/43/EEC, of ​​May 21, 1992, on the preservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora.

In a statement, Almargem – Association for the Defense of Cultural and Environmental Heritage of the Algarve recalls that «it had previously considered that the Environmental Impact Assessment (AIA) procedure in question presented serious gaps in terms of identifying the natural values ​​present, whether in terms of habitats and flora, which are clearly undervalued».

This situation, in the opinion of environmentalists, “was clearly not taken into account in the Assessment Committee's Opinion regarding this first EIA, which resulted in an inconsequential analysis of the information”.

«This opinion was actually devoid of content with regard to the Ecological Systems descriptor, a fact that resulted in the distortion of the conclusions and, therefore, the content of the final decision», argues Almargem.



According to the association, «the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) identified relevant natural values ​​in terms of habitats and species of flora protected by the Legal Regime of the Natura 2000 Network/Habitats Directive – which, due to their conservation interest, are protected by legislation national and community”.

Almargem recalls, in this regard, that it participated «in the various moments of the EIA process in question, having noted that it was repeatedly ignoring the presence of natural values, the protection of which is an obligation of the Portuguese State under the application of the Habitats Directive ».

For all of this, «it is Almargem's understanding that sufficient facts have been gathered to justify the presentation of a reasoned complaint to the European Commission/Department of the Environment - as these substantiate a situation of non-compliance with the Habitats Directive, on the part of the Portuguese State, for more in a project included in the investment plan allocated to the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) of Portugal».

Construction work on the Olhão bypass is about to begin, after the company Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) has signed, on March 7th, the contract to carry out this work.

The project, promoted within the scope of the PRR – Recovery and Resilience Plan and financed by the European Union, involves an investment of 14,4 million euros.


Click here to consult the Complaint document from Almargem.




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