The World Wildlife Fund’s Baltic office says the North European gas pipeline currently under construction underwater between Russia and Germany will destroy rich and fragile marine ecosystems along the German and Polish coasts. It accuses the consortium of promoting a 2010 completion date, knowing that to deliver on time means riding roughshod over environmental controls. It has done no impact survey, and other similar projects have faced far bigger bureaucratic hurdles, implying it has received special treatment.
There is another environmental danger. The Baltic sea bed is littered with discarded world war one and two munitions, including chemical weapons. Laying the pipeline might disturb these bombs, many of which are uncharted, with tragic results.
While the WWF is not opposed to the project, it has joined with other critics in noting the pipeline appears to be being rushed through with scant regard for any adverse consequences.