Yet another environmentally dangerous project


Environment protection groups in Ukraine have today learned that a plan for building a Kaniv Hydro-Accumulating Power Station on the Dnipro [Dnieper] river in the Cherkasy region has appeared on the official list of projects of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, these being projects that the Bank may provide loans for.

This is yet another example of how Ukrainian governments continue to impose technology from the last millennium which have long been recognized as totally out-of-date and economically unviable and are dragging Ukraine into the latest “long-term construction project” with substantial debts on overseas loans. Other notorious examples are the Tashlyk hydroelectric power plant on the river Pivdenny Bug in the Mykolaiv region, the exploitation of which will destroy national landscapes unique to Europe and historic monuments crucial for understanding Ukraine’s development as an independent state, as well as the Dniester hydroelectric power plant in the Chernivtsi region which, if started up, could have trans-border man-made environmental consequences.

The state bodies responsible for planning, expert opinions and construction of the Kaniv Hydro-Accumulating Power Station - the Ministry of Fuel and Energy, the joint stock company “Ukrhidroenergy” the Ministry for Environmental Protection – in violation of current legislation, are not replying to the formal requests for information from civic organizations about the project.

Furthermore, back on 16 August 2006, in secret from the concerned public, in Kaniv so-called “public hearings” were held on the project to which, obviously, nobody except energy employees (from the Ministry of Fuel and Energy, “Ukrhidroenergy” and the management of the Kaniv Hydroelectric Power Plant), builders of the hydro-accumulating power station, heads of the region and of district and settlement councils were invited. Not one of the well-known civic environmental protection organizations in Ukraine working in the Dnieper River basin was invited.
No official information on the conclusions of these “hearings” has been made public. This makes it possible to assume that there has been a deliberate and unjustified concealment of information from the public regarding another environmentally hazardous project,

Civic environmental protection organizations believe that such actions by government officials and energy employees are in contravention of current Ukrainian legislation, norms of a number of international conventions ratified by Ukraine, in particular provisions of the laws of Ukraine “On information” and “On citizen’s applications”, the Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (the Aarhus Convention), as well as the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1378 from 15 October 2004 “Some issues on ensuring public participation in the formation and implementation of state policy”

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