Montijo airport: Zero moves with lawsuit to challenge Declaration of Environmental Impact

in Green · 24-07-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Montijo airport: Zero moves with lawsuit to challenge Declaration of Environmental Impact

The environmental association Zero has filed a lawsuit against the State to challenge the Declaration of Environmental Impact (DIA) that makes the Montijo airport on the outskirts of Lisbon viable.

In the request for the “nullity of DIA” to be issued in January by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), the lawyers refer to “form defect”, “lack of reasoning” and “violation of the law”, namely by ignoring the climatic impacts.

In the process, Zero also accuses APA and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action of “violating the right to the environment, quality of life and health”, in an offense “to the principles of precaution, prevention and reasonableness.”

The lawsuit was filed at the Administrative and Tax Court of Porto (TAFP), where at the beginning of the year another Zero process was sent from Lisbon “to impose the strategic environmental assessment” of Montijo airport.

Contacted by Lusa, Zero explained that the first process was transferred because Porto was where the association that had an official address.

In January, APA confirmed the environmental feasibility of the airport in Montijo, giving a conditioned favourable decision at DIA.

The decision maintains about 160 compensation measures that ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal “will have to comply with” and which amount to around 48 million euros, according to the APA.

For Zero, DIA “presents relevant non-conformities”, violating “a clear requirement” of a decree law resulting from a European directive that “enshrines the need to assess the impact on the climate, considering, in particular, greenhouse gas emission Greenhous (GHG).”

Using “the latest version of the calculator for the inventory of aviation emissions by the European Environment Agency”, Zero concludes that the value estimated by the APA is “about four times less than that which could be considered real.”

In addition to this, the “incompatible location”, adjoins “the Special Protection Zone of the Tagus Estuary and Site of Community Interest in the Tagus Estuary, both belonging to the Natural Network.”

“Since the definition and approval of Natura Network on a European scale, no other civil airport construction project of this dimensions, regarding a nature area near a great European estuary was declared viable in an environmental stance.”

Regarding air quality, DIA “seems to be ignoring the impact, on health, of ultrafine particles (UFP), an emerging pollutant particularly associated with aviation”

In addition, there is a “clear scarcity of supply and integrated planning, especially worrying because it is clearly assumed that the majority of transport will be carried out by road (83 percent), 60 percent of which in individual transport”, and it is incomprehensible to consider an “infrastructure of this nature without any rail link.”

ANA and the State signed on 8 January the agreement for the expansion of Lisbon airport capacity, which foresees and investment of 1.15 billion euros until 2028 and includes the extension of the current structure, Humberto Delgado Airport (in Lisbon), and the transformation of the Montijo air base, with the aim of increasing the airport’s capacity in the capital to up to 50 million passengers.


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