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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning stopped Zoran Janković’s dirty plan to build a sewer through the collection of clean drinking water C0!

By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv

Slovenia’s largest cohesion project in the field of environmental protection, worth 135.6 million euros, has been standing still for almost a year and a half. Most controversy has arisen in connection with the route. Namely, with the help of suspicious building permits, it runs through the Kleče aquifer – a source of drinking water on which 300,000 Ljubljana residents depend. Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković continued to dig through private fields and lay pipes with an excavator, but towards the end of 2019, MPs voted to recommend to the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning that they, on the basis of the applicable legislation, immediately take all measures to obtain the required documentation in connection with the construction of a sewerage system in the water protection area in Ljubljana and ensure respect for the constitutional and inalienable right to private property of landowners. Andrej Vizjak’s Ministry has stopped the infamous C0 channel, Delo reports today.

Recall that the audit of the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning (MOP) at the end of 2019 revealed irregularities related to the procedures for the construction of the C0 sewage line across the Kleče water protection area. Namely, the internal audit report regarding the planning of the construction of the C0 sewerage line revealed serious irregularities committed by the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (Arso). The audit found, among other things, that Arso had issued a building permit to the City of Ljubljana for sewerage channel C0 before the preliminary environmental impact assessment procedure had been prepared. Furthermore, in their proceedings, Arso’s staff did not even examine whether the sewage flowing through the Kleče aquifer could lead to a deterioration of the groundwater or surface water status. The construction of the sewerage system was therefore not opposed, but the construction across the water protection area was opposed, which could pose a threat to drinking water pollution. In addition, the property rights of landowners bordering or running along the planned route of the sewer line were also encroached upon. The timing of the Clean for You project, within which the C0 channel is also being built, is currently unknown – the municipality explains that it is linked to the completion of administrative procedures.

Last September, Arso decided that the municipality must obtain an environmental permit for the construction of a connecting canal by adding a reinforced concrete channel, on the section between Črnuče and Brod. An environmental impact assessment had to be carried out. When the municipality submitted this application, Arso found that it was not responsible for it – the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for conducting the integrated procedure, the subject of environmental consent would only be if the building permit has not yet been issued. “If the building for which a building permit is prescribed is a building with environmental impacts, the procedure for issuing a building permit and environmental impact assessment from the law governing environmental protection shall be merged into an integrated procedure in accordance with Article 50 of the building law,” they explained in Delo. The City of Ljubljana appealed against the agency’s decision, but the appeal was rejected. According to the City of Ljubljana, the decision of the Minister of the Environment Andrej Vizjak was due to the outcome of the referendum on water. What is funny is that it is known that the SDS party has been pointing out irregularities in this area for many years – an alternative to the disputed route would be digging in a populated area, which would mean digging roads, a bigger bend, laying asphalt – all this would of course mean additional costs, and consequently less money would be left for more sophisticated purposes, as once expressed by Dr Anže Logar. It is interesting, however, that the water fighters, who were so strongly in favour of the water bill falling in a referendum, did not comment on the disputed channel.

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