For the second time, the environmental associations Fjöregg and Landvernd (the Icelandic Environmental Association) have reported the decision to issue a project permit for a controversial power line to an environmental ruling committee, RÚV reports. The power line, Krafla Line 4, is to provide power to a PCC silicon plant under construction at Bakki, near Húsavík, North Iceland.
On October 10, the ruling committee for environmental and natural resources ruled that a work permit for the power line project should be revoked, pointing out that when considering the permit, local authorities should have taken new environmental laws into account, which aim to protect valuable lava fields.
Following the ruling, however, local authorities in Skútustaðahreppur district issued a new project permit to Landsnet, the electric utility company in charge of the project, arguing that major economical and societal interests necessitated that it be allowed to resume.
Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, CEO of Landvernd, believes the committee’s ruling entails that Landsnet should have had an environmental assessment conducted on more options for the power line than it did. Therefore, he disagrees with the decision of Skútustaðahreppur district to reissue the permit. Landvernd would like to see the power line moved and parts of it laid underground to protect lava fields.