Landsvirkjun

Planning Agency approves Nordlingaalda reservoir project

13. August 2002

However, the Planning Agency has rejected a reservoir at 581 m a.s.l.

In its findings, the Planning Agency reiterates that the Nordlingaalda EIA essentially involves whether the proposed development could be compatible with the protection and obligations undertaken with respect to the Thjórsárver wetlands. The Agency based its findings on the combined impact of the development on all aspects of the environment, as that concept is defined in the Environmental Impact Assessment Act no. 106/2000, after consideration of counteractive measures.

In the Planning Agency’s view, all three design options for the Nordlingaalda reservoir as presented in the EIA will have a negative environmental impact, but with a considerable difference in impact between a reservoir at 581 m a.s.l. and at 575 or 578 m. The impact at 581 m would be sizeable, according to the ruling by the Agency, which opposes that option. Although there would be a substantial and partly irreversible impact from a reservoir at 575 m, the Planning Agency regards that Thjórsárver will continue to have a high nature conservation value and remain wetlands of international importance and the world’s largest breeding ground of the pink-footed goose. Thus the Planning Agency’s conclusion is that a reservoir at Nordlingaalda with a surface elevation of 575 m can be approved with certain conditions, and that on their fulfilment the project’s environmental impact will not be considerable.

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