Reference: SG/E/2012/07
Received Date: 26 May 2012
Subject: Larnaca Sewerage and Drainage I
Complainant: Confidential
Allegations: Environmental compliance of the project; mismanagement of the project (building permits)
Type: E - Environmental and social impacts of financed projects
Outcome*: Friendly solution
Recommendations: no
Admissibility*
Assessment*
Investigation*
Mediation*
Consultation*
Closed*
Escalated to EO*
21/05/2012
23/07/2012
20/02/2013
5/02/2014
13/02/2014
4/03/2014
Yes

* Admissibility date reflects the date the case was officially registered. All other dates pertain to the date in which a stage was completed.

Case Description

Complaint

On 21 May 2012, an individual lodged a complaint with the EIB Complaints Mechanism (EIB-CM) concerning the construction of a sewage pumping station only few meters away from his house in Larnaca. The pumping station is a sub-component of a project financed by the EIB and is managed by the Larnaca Sewerage and Drainage Board (the promoter) in Cyprus. Such project consists of Phase Β II (2007-2012) of the LSDB network expansion and wastewater treatment plant capacity increase in order to service the entire urban area of Larnaca and ensure full compliance with the requirements of EC Directive 91/271 on Urban Wastewater Treatment (as amended by Directive 98/15/EC). The project, more specifically, comprises, among other, of works on existing sewers, upgrading of connected processes, as well as construction of trunk sewers, pumping stations, smaller sewers and pressure mains.

In the complainant's view, the construction of the pumping station has significant hazardous environmental effects, which were disregarded in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that was produced for the project in question. In particular, the complainant raised the following points:

  • The EIA did not make reference to the existence of a residential area around the pumping station.
  • The EIA described the site as a relatively remote area and as being at a greater distance than the surrounding developments;
  • There was no mention in the EIA that the site is situated opposite two listed historical buildings;
  • The EIA did not take into account the presence of a green area around the site marked by the presence of trees and indigenous plants;
  • The decision to exclude one of the three proposed sites was not based on the environmental impact of the pumping station but on the possible higher cost for the execution of the work in that location;
  • The plot ratio of the site being 1% of land coverage was not respected.

Finally, the complainant asked the EIB-CM to investigate whether the actions of the LSDB infringed upon EU legislation and to request the promoter to stop any work on the site in question.

EIB-CM Action

The EIB-CM carried out an initial investigation of the allegations made by the complainant and, following a fact-finding mission to Cyprus in October 2012, on 22 July 2013 issued its Initial Assessment Report (IAR). The EIB-CM proposed a mediation process.

Conclusions

During the initial assessment of the case, the EIB-CM found that most of the allegations made by the complainant concerning the compliance with the EIB environmental standards appeared to be unfounded. However, given the willingness of the parties to compromise, the EIB-CM decided not to proceed with a full compliance review of the entire operation and instead proposed to the parties a mediation process with the aim of finding an amicable solution.

Following the positive outcome of the mediation initiative, and whilst being engaged in following up the satisfactory implementation of the options agreed by the parties, the EIB-CM proceeded to close the case.

Status

The Mediation Agreement has been successfully implemented.

Project Information