First Environmental Impact Assessment report on the Rail Baltica main route in Estonia

First Environmental Impact Assessment report on the Rail Baltica main route in Estonia

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Rail Baltica main route in Estonia found that the planned route fulfills the necessary requirements.

The recognition of the EIA report as meeting the requirements will allow the construction of the main railway route between the Ülemiste-Kangru section. The route section running from the Ülemiste terminal to Kangru township is 15.8 kilometers long, and the railway corridor runs there mainly between business and production areas, and between promising compact built-up areas. All potentially significant environmental effects have either been avoided, mitigated to an insignificant level, or compensated for. There are no large forest areas, agricultural areas, or Natura 2000 sites in the area of influence of the railway.

“When it comes to various measures, for example, in order to reduce railway noise, various noise barrier solutions will be built on the section for nearly three kilometers – wooden or metal noise barrier walls and earth embankments. In order to ensure the movement of fauna, one eco-duct is planned for the section, as well as an underpass suitable for big game, sixteen culverts and tunnels for small animals. In addition, green strips will be built on the edge of three viaducts crossing the railway,” explained Rail Baltic Estonia's environmental manager Rolanda Müür how environmental aspects will be solved during the construction of the route.

During the construction of the railway and during its future use, it will be monitored how the individual environmental measures are implemented. According to the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Rail Baltica must pay extra attention to the protection of bird populations and ensure that the forest along the route will be cut down outside the birds’ breeding season. In addition, the level and quality of water in wells must be ensured during construction activities, and construction materials must be transported and stored in a manner that minimizes the spread of dust.

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