04 Jan Residents of Cetina area have right to hear the whole truth, not just statements of the loudest individuals on combined-cycle cogeneration power plant gas Peruća
Zagreb, 20. 12. 2016 – Citizens of Hrvace already had the opportunity to hear about the Vis Viva project, in numerous ways, while information about the beginning of public hearings on the Environmental Impact (EIA) Studies for Reversible Hydropower Plant (PHSP) Vrdovo, Combined Cogeneration Gas Power Plant (CCGT) Peruća, Connecting Pipeline Dugopolje-Peruća and Transmission Line Peruća-Konjsko with Hrvace Substation were sent to all media in the Split-Dalmatia County, on December 21, 2016. Public hearings, which were supposed to last until 21 December, were extended until 31 December 2016.
Residents of Gornji Bitelić could hear for Vis Viva project in May 2015, during discussion with PhD Ivan Vučković, coordinator of Elektroprojekt EIA Studies and Mladen Ratkovic, chief designer of pumped hydro storage Vrdovo organized in the Primary School. Vis Viva project was presented on 12 November 2015, held in the premises of the Municipality of Hrvace, with documented record available on the Vis Viva website, in news section (http://www.vis-viva-energija.com/news/). Vis Viva is presented to the highest representatives of Split-Dalmatia County as well, held in Split on 22 September 2015, prior to all competent authorities and institutions in Zagreb on 11 September 2015. All energy facilities of Vis Viva project are included, in cooperation with the highest representatives of Split-Dalmatia County and the Municipality of Hrvace, in their Spatial Plans.
Readers of Slobodna Dalmacija could find out about Vis Viva project in the article published on 6 October 2016, under the title Live force in Zagora brings EUR 1 billion. Also, Slobodna Dalmacija published an article on 22 November 2016 about the beginning of public hearings – Come and tell what you think about ‘live force’. Project companies, which are developing this project, have undertaken a number of activities related to informing the public, not stipulated by the Regulation on information and participation of the public in environmental issues.
“In all of our discussions with representatives of the Municipality of Hrvace, we did not get an impression that there is something objectionable in the construction of high-efficient gas power plant. We are deeply surprised with this turn of events and extremely hostile attitudes of some locals. In the further course of public hearings, we will try to clarify the key influences and continue to talk with all stakeholders”, said Zoran Burić, Director of project companies which develop Vis Viva.
In addition to activities mentioned above, invitation for participation in public hearings on Vis Viva energy facilities was published on the website of Hrvace Municipality (http://www.opcina-hrvace.hr/), previously coordinated with the highest representatives of the Municipality of Hrvace. This invitation was also published on Ferata website, in official publications section (http://www.ferata.hr/2016/page/2/). Also, in agreement with the highest representatives of the Municipality of Hrvace, project companies distributed 200 brochures. Those residents who received brochures were informed about Vis Viva project from the first hand.
Within the information on the beginning of the public hearings, which was sent to all media of Split-Dalmatia County, Director of project companies Zoran Burić invited all citizens and other interested public to actively participate in it, so they could jointly assess whether all important aspects of the environmental impact and protection measures are being included. All dates of public presentations, just as all relevant information on how public can review EIA Studies and provide opinions and comments, as well as the e-mail address to which citizens could also sent their comments (firstname.lastname@example.org) were published. Website of the project, www.vis-viva-energija.com, were public could get familiar with the project’s details and read non-technical summaries was also published.
Locals, who were not obstructed by loud individuals, who wanted to prevent their participation in public hearings, could hear presentation on potential impacts of CCGT Peruća. One of the loudest individuals was Mirko Markulin:
– He conditioned the beginning of the public hearing with arrival of Mayor of Hrvace, who was busy at the same time.
– He was one of the loudest who prevented Fr. Božo Vule from the Franciscan Institute for the Culture of Peace in his addressing to present residents, which was recorded by present reporter of Slobodna Dalmacija. He also noted that Fr. Vuleta left public hearing stating “I tried.”
– He was the one who resolutely claimed that none of the locals had never received a brochure and offered EUR 100 to anyone who “shows it”.
– In front of all, he took the book of comments from PhD Ivan Vučković, who showed that there are no comments or objections in it, and tore the book and threw it on the people in the room.
In such conditions, PhD Ivan Vučković and Marijan Štulac, chief designer from Elektroprojekt tried to provide information on CCGT technology, with explanation why it is a modern and environmental friendly technology related to reduction of CO2 emissions, with simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy.
They were often interrupted by shouts and taunts of those residents with pre-defined negative attitude toward construction of such facility. When has been claimed, in advance, that something will have disastrous effect on virginal beauty and originality of Cetina region, along with exodus of population and hostile attitude, then it is impossible to hear the results of EIA Study, in whose creation participated many Croatian eminent experts. Since they signed by name, while all scientific and technical background was listed in the Study, demonstrating that high-efficiency gas plant complies with both, the EU and Croatian legislation, through meeting all criteria for safe operation, including protection of health and environment, the quality of public debate minimum requires comments, which would indicate expert and scientific studies supporting opposing arguments. Credibility of information is in the interests of all participants of public hearing regardless of whether they agree or not, because it allow conversation aimed at reaching solution from which will benefit all residents of Cetina region, not just the politicians in pre-election debates.