The future government plans to build a weir on the River Elbe in spite of criticism by experts

17.5.2018 - DECIN
The Elbe Valley
The archive of Arnika

The Czech government coalition of the ANO party and the Social Democrats in their program, the ratification of the Water Transport Strategy, the environmental impact assessment, and the commencement of the realization of the Decin weir. According to Arnika, they are anticipating the result of an independent process that, according to law, cannot be influenced by them. Conservationists have been warned for a long time that Elbe Weir has been destroyed by the Lower Elbe, which is part of the European Natural Environment within the Natura 2000 network.

"If the government is planning for the environmental impact assessment (EIA), it is going to be the most important of its own evaluation principle. Neither the result of the EIA process, nor its duration can be anticipated. The EIA process is an independent professional evaluation that cannot be influenced by the government,” says lawyer Petra Humlickova.

The reason for the construction of the Weir, which according to the Czech government, may cost up to 5 billion Czech crowns, is to improve the navigability of the Elbe for freight transport. However, the overall Elbe Conception is approved by the German Government and is not limited to the construction of any weirs that are necessary to improve the navigability of the German side. Therefore, the conditions cannot get better in the troubled section between Usti nad Labem and Dresden.

Cargo between the Czech Republic and Germany can now be transported easily on the railway, whose capacity is not exhausted. Today, 80% of the goods between Hamburg and the Czech Republic are transported by rail. The rest is transported by trucks, and transport on the Elbe is used only occasionally. According to the German government, only 72% of the capacity of the railway is used. If the cargo transported by ships and trucks were to be transported by rail, the load would rise by 2%.

Read the statement of the German association BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany about the environmental impact assessment of the weir at Decin. In addition, the German organization BUND - the Czech Republic's leadership of the Czech government and open letter criticizing the realization of strategic impact assessment (SEA) without the obligatory cross-border involvement of German offices and the public.


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