The Brandenburg State Office for the Environment (LfU) received 395 objections to the construction of the US electric car manufacturer Tesla’s factory in Grünheide near Berlin following the renewed public display of the plans. Together with the 414 objections from people and organizations from the first and second public participation, the number rose to a total of 809, as the Environment Ministry announced on Thursday. The deadline for objections was August 19th.
“The technical examination of the objections by the approval authority State Office for the Environment has shown that a discussion is necessary”, writes the LfU. For a discussion, “objections relevant to the decision must have been raised in order to check the approval requirements”.
The objections should be discussed online with public participation, not like last September in the town hall of Erkner (Oder-Spree). At that time the discussion had lasted eight days. Under the circumstances of the corona pandemic, there is not enough space in the Erkner town hall, and there is no larger event hall available near the planned plant location. Persons who have raised objections must have access to a public hearing in order to be able to participate actively. The period and expiry would be announced in good time.
Delayed start of production
The construction of the Tesla factory is progressing quickly, although the state of Brandenburg has not yet received a final environmental permit. However, there are provisional approvals for individual sections. So far it is not clear when the country will give the green light for the project.
Tesla originally wanted to start production of the Model Y in Grünheide in July, but the completion of the first European plant is taking longer after delays in the approval process. The start of production in Grünheide is currently targeted by the end of the year.
Most recently, environmental groups had criticized the battery factory in the new application documents for the permit is difficult to assess, “because everything is blacked out”. The Greens contradicted objections that the planned Tesla plant would use too much water.