• Third court questions environment assessment of Rospuda bypass

    The stretch of the Via Baltica motorway through Poland’s Rospuda valley, which has become a test case for EU environmental safeguards, has once again hit a roadblock.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The regional administrative court in Warsaw has cancelled the environmental consent for the 17-kilometre Augustow bypass. It is the third legal judgement against the scheme, after decisions in April and December saying the road’s environmental impact assessment was inadequate under EU law.

    The bypass is due to go through the Augustow forest and Rospuda wetlands, which are under protection as Natura 2000 sites. Anyone proposing a road scheme through such a protected area is obliged by the EU habitats directive to explore alternative routes. Polish environmental NGOs have regularly pointed out that an alternative does exist but it has not been considered by the Polish authorities.

    Magda Stoczkiewicz of CEE Bankwatch Network said: ‘The Polish authorities must start reconsidering possible alternative routes for the bypass.’