Reclamation Found ‘Risky’

Reclamation Found ‘Risky’

Published: October 3, 2012 (Issue # 1729)

A planned land reclamation project in the Gulf of Finland near the town of Sestroretsk is dangerous for local ecology, according to a commission set up by the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, Interfax reported.

The assembly’s commission on the ecological protection of the St. Petersburg population discussed Monday the potential influence of the proposed land reclamation in the Gorskaya-Sestroretsk locality on the hydrological, ecological and geological conditions of the territory.

The experts said the project was a threat to both the ecology of the Gulf of Finland and to the safety of the real estate planned to be built on the reclaimed land.

The land reclamation project would result in the pollution of the beach in the village of Lisy Nos, the disruption of currents in the mouth of the River Neva, the destruction of the beach at Sestroretsk, and would threaten many rare species of flora and fauna, scientists said.

Doctor Konstantin Klevanny said the site chosen for the construction would become the most dangerous area of the Gulf of Finland, at risk of flooding up to six meters above sea level, Interfax reported. In such a scenario the city’s flood barrier would be incapable of defending the new residential districts, while hydraulic constructions would come under additional pressure, he told the committee. In addition, the Primorskoye Shosse and the railroad would also be at risk.

The company planning the project, Severo-Zapad Invest, failed to sign an official agreement with the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Federal Fisheries Agency, Interfax reported. Therefore the members of the commission decided to appeal to the Regional Development Ministry with a request to temporarily halt coordination of the project until a thorough assessment has been carried out, the news agency reported.

Severo-Zapad Invest plans to reclaim land from the sea to create a new territory of 370 hectares in the area of Sestroretsk for the construction of a new residential district called Novy Bereg (New Shore) in 2014. The cost of the project is currently evaluated at 250 billion rubles ($8 billion).

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