The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG) has to deal with the water problems in the region around Tesla’s electric car plant in Grünheide. The Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) and the Green League are taking action against the water judgment of the Administrative Court in Frankfurt/Oder. On Wednesday, both associations formally applied for admission to an appeal, which the highest administrative court in the capital region has to decide on.
The background: The Frankfurt judges had overturned the approval for higher withdrawals in the Eggersdorf waterworks, which was granted by the Brandenburg State Environment Agency in 2020 because of the Tesla project, but solely for formal reasons. The previously omitted public participation is currently being made up for.
The environmental groups are attacking the fact that the court – it did not allow an appeal – had declared in its judgment that there was enough groundwater for the additional funding. Nabu and the Green League, on the other hand, consider this approval – without thorough examination of all environmental impacts – to be irresponsible due to the negative consequences for nature conservation and the region’s groundwater balance.
“Here the court has reversed the legal standards, so to speak,” said the lawyer for the environmental associations, Thorsten Deppner.
It was “more than strange” that the court completely ignored the expertise of an expert from the associations, said Michael Ganschow, Managing Director of the Green League. “High forest fire warning levels and very little rainfall in the last two months do not give reason to hope for sufficient groundwater recharge this year either.”
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Nabu Managing Director Christiane Schröder said: “Anyone who walks through the nearby nature reserve ‘Lange Dammwiesen und unteres Annatal’ with open eyes will see very quickly how much water is already missing in this landscape.” Species that tend to be wet have long since died out there like.
According to the Strausberg-Erkner water association (WSE), the operation of the Eggersdorf waterworks is directly related to the Tesla car factory, which has been producing since March 22nd. In the event that the 3.7 million cubic meters approved in 2020 (previously 2.5 million) should not be funded, the WSE had threatened to terminate the Tesla supply contract.
As reported, the WSE, with a service area of 170,000 households, has already limited the water consumption of its customers for dry periods. In parallel with the water proceedings, the environmental organizations are still examining legal steps against the main permit for Tesla’s electric car factory in Grünheide.