Public participation procedure for Project-MER runs from 1-30 April 2020.
As part of the permit procedure for Project ONE in the port of Antwerp, INEOS is announcing the way in which the environmental impact of the project will be mapped out. Citizens who have comments can submit them during the month of April.
The full approach to the environmental impact report (EIA) is set out in the notification file, which will be available on www.mervlaanderen.be, the website of the department Environment of the Flemish government, below ‘MER dossierdatabank’ (‘MER file database’) by the file number PR3263, from 1 April onwards.
INEOS made an instructional video, which is available at https://info.project-one.eu/participatie-mer, in which the participation procedure is explained in more detail as well as the scope of this notification. Citizens with comments on the content of the notification and/or the proposed methodology and alternatives to be examined can submit them via the online public participation form on www.mervlaanderen.be or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org until 30 April.
The experts from the department Environment of the Flemish government will assess the public participation responses and take them into account in the so-called scoping advice, which determines what needs to be examined in the Project EIA.
The notification describes that the EIA will study and assess the impact of Project ONE for the following disciplines: soil, water, air, noise and vibration, mobility, landscape, architectural heritage and archaeology, climate, biodiversity and human and health. Both the effects of the construction phase and those during operation are part of the research and cover the preparatory works, the propane hydrogenation (PDH) unit and ethane tank, the ethane cracker and all supporting infrastructure.
This EIA, which includes the cumulative effects of all parts of the project, will be reflected in the permit applications submitted for the construction and operation of the PDH unit and ethane tank on the one hand and the construction and operation of the ethane cracker on the other hand.
Project ONE is the largest investment in the European chemical sector for 20 years. Due to the complexity and size of the project, INEOS wishes to spread the realisation of the installations over time. This allows for an efficient planning of the works, by first starting the preparatory works, then proceeding to the construction of the PDH unit, ethane tank and associated utilities and logistics installations, to finish with the construction of the ethane cracker and associated infrastructure.
A first phase concerns the uprooting of trees and shrubs and making the industrial site ready for construction. These preparatory works are necessary to make the entire project area accessible for geotechnical research. For this reason, INEOS already submitted a separate permit application for this phase last year, together with a forest compensation proposal and a project EIA. This permit was granted by the Province of Antwerp on 7 November 2019. As appeal was submitted against this decision, the effects of the removal of the vegetation were again included in the submitted notification.