Nature protection association Landvernd demands that Icelandic authorities act responsibly in their plans for the area around Lake Mývatn and river Laxá in Northeast Iceland and make sure that Landsvirkjun, the national power company, does not go ahead with the geothermal power plant at Bjarnarflag.
Landvernd requests that all operations be halted until it is proven that the power plant will not impact the area’s biosphere and residents’ health, ruv.is reports.
Landvernd points out the environmental impact Kárahnjúkavirkjun hydropower plant has had on the East Iceland lake Lagarfljót, impacts scientists had warned against.
Scientists believe a power plant by Bjarnarflag may have a negative impact on Lake Mývatn, which is famous for its birdlife and one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations, due to sulfur pollution and/or cooling groundwater streams.
The Icelandic Environment Agency has pointed out that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the operations by Bjarnarflag must be repeated as it was carried out many years ago and that Mývatn and Laxá are on a registry of internationally important wetland areas.
The board of Landvernd stresses the importance of having conclusive information when decisions on such large-scale operations are made. This was not the case at Kárahnjúkar, Landvernd states.
Landvernd also asks that Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Svandís Svavarsdóttir respond to the inquiry of the office of the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, on possible risk of pollution in Mývatn and Laxá through the Bjarnarflag power plant.
The inquiry was received by the Icelandic Environment Agency at the end of October 2012.