Project prioritisation under the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan – the eutrophication segment (2008-2010)
In the eutrophication segment of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (HELCOM BSAP) figures for the maximum allowable nutrient inputs are estimated, in order to obtain a Baltic Sea in good environmental status. Correspondingly, the Action Plan contains provisional country-wise nutrient reduction targets for both nitrogen and phosphorous.
According to the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan each HELCOM Contracting State shall by 2010 develop National Programmes, containing the measures by which the country will obtain the needed reductions in the nutrient load from both waterborne and airborne inputs.
The National Programmes shall ensure country-wise flexibility in choices of the most cost-effective measures.
Some measures, however, have already been identified on a Baltic-wide scale to be cost-efficient, namely the additional reduction of phosphorus from waste water treatment plants and the proper handling of manure at big animal farms.
The outcome of the project will be the elaboration of two lists of prioritised projects, for the waste water treatment and the agricultural sectors; serving as a first indication of where to make the most cost-effective investments.
These lists are meant as a tool/starting point for national authorities and different financing initiatives, including the International Financial Institutes and private entrepreneurships, when considering where to make the most cost-efficient investments and thus speed up the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. The list on prioritized waste water treatment plants projects are also intended as an input to the operational programmes and priorities of the newer EU countries under the EU structural and cohesion funds. This will ensure a consideration of whether the additional HELCOM requirements on phosphorous removal can be covered also under the EU structural and cohesion funds – or at least be taken into account in the project design.
It is important to stress that a lot of information for compilation of the lists is available from various sources, e.g. national reporting under existing HELCOM requirements on pollution load compilation, as well reporting on EU UWWT and IPPC Directives, but this information is rather fragmented and unsystematic. Besides that, there is scarcity of reliable data on point sources of pollution from Russia, therefore specific focus will be made on it in order to establish necessary information flow. In order to obtain better knowledge on transboundary pollution loads, the sources in Belarus and Ukraine will be also addressed.
The task will be to compile already existing information, either reported to international organizations, contained in national databases or derived from various projects.
An information request has already been sent out to the HELCOM Contracting States, and will be further considered during the Thirteenth Meeting of HELCOM LAND in May 2008, with a view to identify the additional information needs.
The list of waste water treatment plants will cover plants discharging directly to/within a 50 kilometers strip from the Baltic Sea Area and not yet fulfilling the HELCOM requirements for additional phosphorous removal, as decided in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. This list should for the newer EU member states also take into account the transitional periods set in the Treaty of Accession 2003 for the implementation of the EU Directive on Urban Waste Water Treatment.
The list of so-called Agricultural hot spots will cover places with intensive rearing of pigs, cattle and poultry not fulfilling the requirements in the revised Annex III of the 1992 Helsinki Convention. Annex III is to a large extent corresponding with the requirements under the EC Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC directive) – but covers in addition to the IPPC directive also requirements for intensive rearing of cattle.
Time frame and services to be delivered
A first draft of both lists shall be prepared for consideration by the second meeting of the HELCOM BSAP Implementation Group and the HELCOM HoD 26 meeting, to be arranged on 4-5 June 2008. The following deadline for compilation of the Lists was decided upon by the First Meeting of the HELCOM BSAP Implementation Group in April 2008 (see also attachment 1 – for an extract of the relevant decisions from the meeting):
|Action A: Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plants*||Deadline|
|1. Update of information on remaining HELCOM Municipal Hot Spots under the Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme (JCP)||19-21 May 2008|
|2. Compiled information on MWWTPs discharging directly into the Baltic Sea as well as information on MWWTPs located within 50 km coastal strip||19-21 May 2008|
|3. Information on all other MWWTPs within the watershed of the Baltic Sea under the jurisdiction of HELCOM Contracting Parties (including the data reported under the EU law)||Aug. 2008|
|4. Data on remaining MWWTPs within the watershed of the Baltic Sea in order to address transboundary pollution loads from Belarus/Ukraine/Czech Republic||End of 2008|
* Data on new WWTPs in the Contracting Parties
|Action B: Agricultural Hot Spots||Deadline|
|1. Update of information on remaining HELCOM Agricultural Hot Spots under Joint Comprehensive Programme||19-21 May 2008|
|2. Compilation of data from the EPER and Russia on large industrial facilities for intensive rearing of cattle, poultry and pigs in the Baltic Sea Area||04 June 2008|
|3. Compilation of data on agricultural production and industrial facilities for rearing of cattle, poultry and pigs within watershed of the Baltic Sea (Belarus and Ukraine) in order to address transboundary pollution loads||End of 2008|
|4. Compilation of information on existing or planned general rules and simplified permit systems for facilities of more than 100 animal units to be introduced not later than 2012 and aggregated data on those facilities, including their production capacities and geographic location||May 2009|
|5. Compilation of aggregated data on smaller agricultural facilities of less than 100 animal units not required to obtain permit, including their production capacities and geographic location||May 2010|
Most of the data (except of information on smaller animal farming installations) will be compiled by the end of 2008.
Several project assistants, some with knowledge of local language, will be contracted to carry out the task under overall coordination by the Project Manager to be based at HELCOM Secretariat.
Extract from the First Meeting of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan Implementation Group, held on 7-8 April in Helsinki, Finland
1.1. The Meeting considered the suggested step-wise approach in order to elaborate a comprehensive HELCOM List of MWWTPs, in which municipal waste water treatment plants discharging directly to the Baltic Sea, and not yet fulfilling HELCOM Recommendation 28E/5, are addressed as the first step in the project prioritisation (document 4/4).
1.2. LD 19 The Meeting agreed that the list will be compiled from already existing sources of information in order to avoid an extra burden on the Contracting Parties, e.g. PLC-5 format for data on discharges from MWWTPs could be used. Supplementary information on operational costs and investments needed to improve treatment performance to fulfil the requirements of the BSAP should be provided.
1.3. LD 20 The EC pointed out that transition periods agreed in the accession treaties of Poland and the Baltic States include, in some cases, earlier deadlines than those in the BSAP. The EC also pointed out that many of the MWWTP hot spots in the HELCOM list of hot spots already are receiving support from regional funds and being renovated.
1.4. LD 21 The Meeting agreed on the need to move from an indicative list of priority MWWTP projects to an implementable list of projects. The Meeting considered that the national lists of the Contracting Parties, being also EU Member States, comprising the MWWTPs not complying with the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) could be used for the elaboration of the list. The Meeting considered regional workshops to be a useful tool in elaborating the prioritised list of projects for elaborating the part of the list that aims at fulfilling the BSAP requirements that go beyond the requirements of the UWWTD.
1.5. LD 22 The Meeting took note of the information by the EC on a Community Water Information System for Europe (WISE), which is to be operational by the end of this year and where all information reported by the EU Member States would be available on-line, including the information that should have been reported under the UWWT Directive by the end of 2007.
1.6. LD 23 While underlining the need to avoid double reporting, the Meeting noted that information in WISE includes so far only western Baltic Sea countries and the information reported under the UWWTP Directive does not cover certain data which are needed to create the list of priority projects in the municipal wastewater sector.
1.7. LD 24 The Meeting took note of the need for the Contracting Parties to report on the less than 10000 p.e. MWWTPs as additional data to those data reported within the PLC-5 project to elaborate a full list.
1.8. LD 25 The Meeting agreed on the following steps:
by HELCOM LAND 13/2008 the Contracting Parties should submit the updated information on remaining HELCOM Municipal Hot Spots under the Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme (JCP);
by HELCOM LAND 13/2008 the Contracting Parties should submit the compiled information on MWWTPs discharging directly into the Baltic Sea as well as information on MWWTPs located within 50 km coastal strip, to be accomplished e.g. under PLC-5 reporting;
by August 2008 the Contracting Parties should report the data on all other MWWTPs within the watershed of the Baltic Sea under the jurisdiction of HELCOM Contracting Parties (including the data reported under the EU law), to be accomplished e.g. under PLC-5 reporting;
by the end of 2008 the data on remaining MWWTPs within the watershed of the Baltic Sea should be obtained in order to address transboundary pollution loads, possibly by further involvement of Belarus/Ukraine into pollution load compilation procedures.
1.9. LD 26 The Secretariat will provide instructions to specify the needed data and information by 15 April 2008.
LD 27 The Meeting agreed also on the need to collect national information on plans for building new MWWTPs and basic financial data for all MWWTPs so they could be prioritized according to bankability, and to maintain the collected information so the data are kept updated.
HELCOM List of Agricultural Hot Spots
1.10. LD 31 The Meeting recalled that by adoption of the Baltic Sea Action Plan the HELCOM Contracting Parties agreed to establish by 2009 a list of Hot Spots identifying existing installations for the intensive rearing of cattle, poultry, and pigs not fulfilling the requirements in the revised Annex III of the Helsinki Convention. An outline of elements for drawing such a list was presented in document 4/3, specifying available information from the completed First Phase of the World Bank/GEF-funded Baltic Sea Regional Project, the EC Integrated Pollution Prevention Control Directive (IPPC) for the EU Member States and its associated European Pollution Emission Register (EPER) as well as other available information.
1.11. LD 32 The Meeting agreed on the following way forward to elaborate a list of Agricultural Hot Spots not fulfilling the requirements of the revised Annex III of the Helsinki Convention (cf. HELCOM Recommendation 28E/4):
Finland, in co-operation with the Secretariat, should put forward, by LAND 13/2008, the proposal for the updated Criteria for Hot Spot inclusion/deletion revised according to the requirements of the revised Annex III of the 1992 Helsinki Convention, with a view to having it endorsed for adoption by HOD 26/2008;
the Contracting Parties should provide, by LAND 13/2008, their updated information on the remaining HELCOM Agricultural Hot Spots under the JCP;
the Contracting Parties, with support from the EC, should compile, by BSAP IG 2/2008, the data on EPER facilities in the Baltic Sea area, and Russia should compile, also by BSAP IG 2/2008, the data on large industrial facilities for intensive rearing of cattle, poultry and pigs in Russia;
by the end of 2008 the Secretariat, possibly in co-operation with Belarus and Ukraine, will gather available data on agricultural production and industrial facilities for rearing of cattle, poultry and pigs within the watershed of the Baltic Sea in order to address transboundary pollution loads;
the Contracting Parties should provide, by LAND 14/2009, information on existing or planned general rules and simplified permit systems for facilities of more than 100 animal units to be introduced not later than 2012 and aggregated data on those facilities, including their production capacities and geographic location;
the Contracting Parties should provide, by LAND 15/2010, aggregated data on smaller agricultural facilities of less than 100 animal units not required to obtain permit, including their production capacities and geographic location.
LD 33 The Meeting stressed the utmost importance of obtaining correct information and monitoring data on the large animal installations from the countries as a prerequisite for cost efficient projects and considered that the Contracting Parties could address other bodies, such as CBSS and BSPC to request those to take on board the issue of data provision from the countries for the elaboration of the HELCOM list of agricultural hot spots. The Meeting was of the opinion that it might be helpful to build on the data from the private initiatives and use those as an input to the priority list.