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Deutschen Umwelthilfe v. Stralsund Mining Authority

Jurisdiction: Supreme administrative court of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania


Side A: Deutschen Umwelthilfe (Ngo)


Side B: Stralsund Mining Authority (Government)


Core objectives: Environmental group challenged natural gas pipeline permit


Summary
On July 27, 2020, environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH; Environmental Action Germany) filed an action against the Stralsund Mining Authority in the supreme administrative court of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. DUH sought reconsideration of the Authority's January 2018 decision to issue a permit for Russian-owned Gazprom's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. DUH asked the court to oblige the Authority to review the permit in the context of related (direct and indirect) methane emissions, arguing that a significant upward revision of estimated methane emissions from gas production and transportation has occurred since the permit was first granted in January 2018. Alternatively, DUH requested that the court suspend the permit and refer the case to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling regarding compliance with the European precautionary principle.

On November 16, 2021, the court ruled the DUH complaint against the Stralsund Mining Authority partly inadmissible, partly unsubstantiated. According to the court, DUH lacked the necessary legal protection with regard to the offshore pipeline running in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and the onshore facilities in Lubmin, as well as the offshore pipeline, rendering the complaint inadmissible on these points. In the preliminary stages, the plant, which had not yet started operating, had already been tested for gas tightness in accordance with the technical safety regulations. With regard to the associated Russian gas infrastructure on land, the court found the complaint admissible but unfounded. According to the court, the planning approval decision had assessed the environmental impacts as a whole, in particular methane emissions, and had not left them to a later decision.

Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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