PAS wants the desalination plant's Environmental Impact Statement to be challenged

PAS also disputes that DIA does not respond to the questions that the platform asked during the public consultation period

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The Sustainable Water Platform (PAS) considers that the Conditional favorable Environmental Impact Declaration (DIA), issued by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), about the future desalination plant “does not meet the minimum requirements that allow it to be classified as a DIA”, arguing that it should be challenged. 

In a statement, PAS considers that «the multiple gaps that exist in it suggest that the impacts will be much more serious than those identified by DIA».

PAS's position is based on «the fact that numerous elements of the project, essential information of crucial importance, were not presented and analyzed, meaning that, consequently, several impacts of significant value were not assessed».

As an example, this platform indicates an «extensive list of conditions expressed in the DIA (pages 23 to 32), in relation to various factors, in the fields of geomorphology, water, landscape, marine life, fishing, noise pollution and rejection of effluent, among others, which necessarily have to be subject to environmental assessment a priori, and not just in terms of RECAPE».

Furthermore, «there are also no plans, graphic surveys and data analysis, which necessarily have to be evaluated prior to the start of approval of the work», he adds.

PAS also disputes that DIA does not respond to the questions that the platform asked during the public consultation period.

«What is the point of implementation of the official measures considered short-term and also foreseen in the PRR – Rehabilitation of water supply networks and increase in production / availability of Water for Reuse (ApR)? As we defend in our participation in CP, the implementation of these measures should have been carried out prior to this process, as only after their implementation can the usefulness and economic viability of this EDAM be assessed. What alternatives are there to the construction of this EDAM, with equal or even lower costs and that can save, produce or retain the equivalent of the volume of water produced by this technology?».

Furthermore: «four of the six indicators of the European principle of “Do Not Significantly Harm the Environment” DNSH are not respected, namely, the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources; the circular economy; pollution prevention and control; and the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems, the other 2 of which are partially disrespected».

«The project does not respect European legislation to which Portugal freely adhered, namely the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MDF) and the Bathing Water Directive», the Sustainable Water Platform also argues.

PAS «understands that the DIA does not sufficiently consider the participation of civil society (summary of participation, between pages 5 and 19) and does not reflect the real opposition that there was in relation to this project».

Therefore, this platform even calls for the validity of this Environmental Impact Statement to be challenged.