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Augšdaugavas novadā meža vietā grib industriālo parku

Industrial park plans in eastern Latvia cause environment concerns

The municipality of Augšdaugava in east Latvia wants to acquire 256 hectares of state forest land and has been discussing this idea in the Saeima for half a year. The municipality wants to create an industrial park there. No specific companies that will work there or estimates of the benefit have been prepared, Latvian Television reported November 5.

The first questions about the plan were asked by local green activists. The Environmental Advisory Council addressed the Saeima with a letter, drawing its attention to the fact that the local government has not sufficiently evaluated and justified why the park should be created in a place with specially protected habitats and protected species. In addition, concerns have been expressed – the park has not yet been given the green light, but trees are already being felled.

 Some of the area has undergone bare felling, but “Latvian State Forests” (LVM) claimed that the forest would be restored here, and new trees would be planted.

LVM said that in this suburban forest of Daugavpils, locals often mushroom, and go for walks, so the idea to build a park for manufacturing and solar panels in a relatively large area is surprising.

In taking decisions regarding the development of the necessary documentation, which was indicated by the Environmental Advisory Council at the beginning of summer, the local government has returned to the Saeima. This time it has been debated whether such an economic activity to support commercial activity is lawful.

Previously, Augšdaugava municipality deputy head Vitālijs AIzbalts stated that an environmental assessment would be carried out before any work started.

The site is adjacent to the railway, the high-voltage line, the main highway between Riga and Daugavpils. At the same time, local governments have planned another industrial park nearby – in the territory of Daugavpils airport.

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