In January we will apply for an environmental judgment for the West Link to the Land and Environment Court. The judgment establishes conditions for the project's impact on surface and groundwater, and for disturbances such as noise and vibrations.
The construction of the West Link can in various ways have an impact its surroundings, and parts of this impact are regulated by legislation in the Swedish Environmental Code. Before we can begin building the West Link, the Land and Environment Court must conduct a permit assessment and announce the conditions for the construction. The Land and Environment Court's assessment places conditions on the impact which the construction of the West Link may have on the environment.*
What will be reviewed by the Land and Environment Court?
The West Link's tunnels will be built under the groundwater level and, in certain cases, we will have to divert water and build under the water. An environmental judgement from the Land and Environment Court is required in order to carry out such work. In the judgment, the Court places conditions on the water operations. The judgment will also include terms for other environmental impact that may occur during the construction of the West Link, such as air-borne noise, structure-borne noise and vibrations from the construction sites.
Application in January 2016
In April 2015, we invited the general public and particularly affected individuals, as well as authorities and organisations, to a consultation in order to inform about and discuss the impact issues related to the construction of the West Link. The consultation gave us an opportunity to gain information for our future investigations. It also gave the public and property owners the opportunity to present their views and thus influence these issues.
After the consultation, we went through the comments we had received before going forth with the application. This process is almost finished and we estimate that we will be ready to submit the application to the Land and Environment Court in January 2016.
When the Court has made its decision, stakeholders and concerned members of the general public have the right to comment and appeal. We expect to have a final judgment in 2017.
* Issues of whether the West Link should be built or not and the route of the tunnel will not be readdressed. These issues were examined in conjunction with the Government's admissibility assessment. In the admissibility assessment in 2014, the Government decided on the West Link's admissibility and localisation. During the overall evaluation, which is to be carried out during an admissibility assessment in accordance with Chapter 17 of the Environmental Code, the Government found that an expansion of the West Link should be allowed in accordance with the selected alternative and pursuant to the stated conditions.
These issues have also been examined in conjunction with the development of the West Link's railway plan, a process in which the general public, property owners and authorities had the chance to comment on the West Link and its design. The County Administrative Board backed the West Link's railway plan in August 2015, and thereafter it was submitted to the Transport Administration's Legal and Plan Assessment Unit for approval.