Court protects the regional landscape park “Granite-Steppe Pobuzhya”
On 3 June, two days before World Environment Day, the High Administrative Court handed down a judgment in favour of A. Galkina and O. Malytsky who had filed law suits against the Mykolaiv Regional Council and the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom., as represented by the Southern Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant.
The saga, as reported here, is long and by no means over, however this new decision is very much to be welcomed.
In dispute are 27 72 hectares of the regional landscape park “Granite-Steppe Pobuzhya” which last year was voted one of Ukraines Seven Wonders.
On 6 July 2006 the Mykolaiv Regional Council adopted the decision to remove 27.72 hectares from this State-owned regional landscape park hand it over to Energoatom. The latter wants to make this area the tail end of the Alexandrovsky Reservoir, this meaning that a substantial area of what should be national reserve land will be flooded.
Environmentalists had already endeavoured to dissuade the Council from taking this move. The arguments are clear: the decision breached legislation and Ukraines international commitments; would cause irreparable damage to an area of natural and historical importance; adversely affect the quality of drinking water in the basin of the Southern Bug River and could cause flooding in future.
The Mykolaiv Regional Council proved impervious to reason, and took their decision which was appealed against by the same two people A. Galkina and O. Malytsky, who were represented by the renowned environmental protection lawyer Olha Melen.
On 22 January 2007 the first instance court agreed that the Councils decision violated the publics right to take part in drawing up and carrying out measures aimed at protection and rational use of natural resources.
It found that the decision had been unlawful and unwarranted and therefore revoked it.
The Mykolaiv Regional Council and Energoatom appealed, and unfortunately the Odessa Administrative Court of Appeal revoked the first instance court ruling.
Now, following a cassation appeal, on 3 June 2009 the High Administrative Court revoked the Appeal Courts ruling and sent the case back for new examination.
To be continued …