Quality Assessment for Authorities and Third Parties in the Planning Process

For public authorities or involved third parties, OECOS GmbH conducts a substantive and formal assessment of environmental documents which have been prepared and submitted in the course of approval procedures. These documents are examined for completeness, structure, content, convergence, appropriateness of methods and traceability of results in brief reports which are all structured identically.

Upon requests of regional authorities (counties, municipalities) or associations, OECOS Ltd. will carry out contentual as well as formal evaluations of the planning documents that have been submitted by the project developer. Since autumn 2014, OECOS Ltd. carries out a very extensive planning evaluation on behalf of several counties that are affected by the ‘SuedLink’ project (a large-scale, high-voltage electric power line between Schleswig-Holstein and Bavaria, as enacted by the national requirement plan). The legal examination of the project documents is carried out by the law firm De Witt in Berlin.

In December 2014, the Transmission Network Operator TenneT submitted an application in accordance with §6 of the German Network Expansion Acceleration Act. OECOS Ltd. has systematically evaluated this application for completeness, objectivity and consistency of data in terms of user independence, appropriateness of methods and contents as well as transparency of results, and has, in coordination with the client, communicated the identified shortcomings to the Federal Network Agency. In the course of a technical plausibility check, OECOS Ltd. emphasised that the determination and valuation of environmental impacts did not qualify for ‘good professional practise’. In a formal writing to the Transmission Network Operator, the Federal Network Agency joint this criticism for the most part, wherefore the application was rejected and fundamental revision required.

The coalition agreement of the federal German government of July 1st in 2015, in which a priority for  underground cables over overhead power lines for all large-scale, high-voltage power lines was established, has made the first §6 Network Expansion Acceleration Act application for the ‘SuedLink’ project obsolete. A re-application is pending. In cooperation, OECOS Ltd. and the law firm De Witt have developed a bill for the implementation of the underground cable-precedence. The link below shows OECOS’ comments on the current bill of the Federal German government:

(Stellungnahme zum Gesetzentwurf der Bundesregierung Drs.-18/4655)