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TALLINN – The Estonian Environment Board approved of the environmental effects' strategic evaluation report for the Saaremaa Port development plan, which is another step closer to allowing the Saaremaa Port to handle cargo, local newspaper Saarte Haal reports.
The report contains work of Tallinn Technical University marine systems institute experts that evaluates environmental effects that can be manifested when the Saaremaa Port becomes a cargo port and when an industrial area is built around the port.
"Experts estimate that the Saaremaa Port becoming a cargo port and building of the industrial area has presumably no major negative environmental effects," said Environment Board spokeswoman Irmeli Karja. Should negative effects be ascertained later, during regular monitoring of the environment of the area, developers can be demanded to implement additional easing measures.
Karja said that the next step is to enforce the detailed development plans after the end of the supervision proceedings.
The state owned Port of Tallinn that owns the Saaremaa deep-sea port wants to turn the Saaremaa port into a passenger and cargo port that could handle 100,000-300,000 tons of solid bulk goods a year. So far it has operated only as a cruise port but has not been very successful at that.