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Environmental impact of LitPol Link to be monitored for three years
2016-06-07

Environmental impact of LitPol Link to be monitored for three years

In 2016-2018, environmental protection specialists will be on constant watch along the route of the LitPol Link overhead transmission line that stretches through the districts of Lazdijai and Alytus. The Environmental Protection Agency and other relevant authorities have already approved the LitPol Link environmental impact monitoring programme, according to which Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid will begin a public procurement for monitoring services shortly.
 
“Any kind of human activity has a direct impact on the environment. For us, attention to nature and the search for tools to reduce this impact are already a natural and integral part of our work. The LitPol Link power line runs through areas with a unique landscape, so it has been clear since the planning stage that the goal to avoid or minimize the impact on the environment will be a priority for us, even once all the construction work is complete,” said Vidmantas Grušas, director of the Litgrid Transmission Grid Department.
 
Information about the environmental impact monitoring programme for the Lithuanian and Polish interconnection is available in the LitPol Link section of the Litgrid website.
 
Under the programme, special zones where valuable natural habitats or rare plant species have been established will be monitored for the next three years. In addition, electromagnetic field studies will be conducted in the parts of the route where the power line runs nearby residential and public premises.
 
Special attention will be given to rare species of reptiles and amphibians. It is believed that 11 amphibian and six reptile species may inhabit the LitPol Link protection zones. The condition of their habitats and their number will be ascertained during the monitoring.
 
In addition, there are numerous migratory birds during autumn and spring around the bodies of water not far from the power line – the Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve, and near the Rimietis and Simnas lakes. When there is fog or at dusk, birds can fly into the wires, so the programme provides for their accumulation to be studied and for recommendations to be made to improve visibility of the wires. Part of the LitPol Link route was already equipped during construction with special measures to get birds’ attention, such as reflectors.
 
The LitPol Link interconnection between Lithuania and Poland began normal operation in the beginning of this year. While planning the 400 kV overhead power transmission line and after carrying out its environmental impact assessment, there were already plans to monitor environmental impact in the interconnection’s protection zones for three years after construction was completed. Ecological maintenance was also carried out on the LitPol Link route before construction of the overhead line, in 2014-2015. LitPol Link covers 63 kilometres from Alytus to the Polish border.
 
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