Earth Link and Advanced Resources Development s a. r L. (Elard) Submitted to: Council for Development and Reconstruction


Public Consultation 6.1Introduction



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6.Public Consultation

6.1Introduction

Requirement for consultation with stakeholders, and particularly with local communities, was one of the main reasons for conducting the update of the EIA study.

Public consultation is in line with requirements of the Lebanese legislation (Environmental Protection Law No. 444/ 2002), the Lebanese EIA draft decree and the IFC consultation and disclosure requirements (Guidance Note F).

This section sheds light on previous consultations as well as recent ones conducted as part of the updated ESIA study.

6.2Review of Previous Consultations


In the course of earlier studies, Montgomery Watson had consulted key Government Ministries, interested parties, experts of the local scientific community regional and local authorities and NGOs.

A seminar (workshop) was held on 15th of July 1997. This covered key project elements and route, the methodology of Environmental Assessment and the main environmental impacts and benefits identified.

A record of all meetings and consultations held by Montgomery Watson are given in Appendix I.

6.3Recent Consultations

Lack of consultation with the directly affected local communities in the earlier EIA report posed a necessity to target these in the updated study in aim to ensure that adequate and timely information is provided to them and other stakeholders, and that they are given the chance to voice their opinions and concerns.

ELARD team has coordinated closely with the Ministry of Environment to ensure to the extent possible that the public consultation process is in line with MoE’s requirements.

Based on an agreed plan with MoE’s representatives, ELARD team has consulted potentially affected local people and concerned Municipalities during the socio-economic survey. Interviews and questionnaires are attached to Appendix G. This activity involved conducting interviews and surveys through questionnaires with the communities and head of municipalities.

Project leaflets, prepared in Arabic, were distributed during the survey (Appendix H). These aimed at introducing the project while serving as an invitation to participate in a public consultation meeting.

6.4Public Participation Meeting


As part of the scoping phase, a public participation event was held in the Lebanese University in Hadath at the Institute of Fine Arts on the 12th of May 2010. Invitations were sent out to concerned Ministries and Municipalities through official facsimile letters from the CDR. Local communities have on the other hand received oral invitations during social interviews as well as written ones via the distributed leaflets as mentioned above.

A list of the attendees is given in the attached minutes of meeting in Appendix I.

ELARD consultants presented the project details, potential impacts and mitigation measures in a 45-minute presentation (Appendix I), and opened the floor for one hour of open discussions with the attendees.

Various environmental impacts were discussed during the open session and some concerns rose up by the attendees. These are documented in the attached minutes of meeting (Appendix I).

The two main serious concerns raised by the public are summarized in Table 6 -54 with a explanation of how the concern is addressed by the project proponents.

Table 6 54 The main raised concerns



Concern

Description

Action/Answer

Retrieval of 3m3/s of water


Concerns were raised regarding the type and magnitude of impact that could potentially affect the natural flow of water in the Awali River section downstream the Joun HEP after retrieval of the required amount of water for the Conveyor Project

There will be no direct effect on the natural flow. This point is well addressed in Section 7.6

Structural impact from TBM activity

Concerns on adverse impacts on the structural stability of the St. Joseph Carmel School were expressed by the chairperson since the tunnel is passing beneath the school.

CDR to provide adequate geotechnical reports proving that there will be no direct impacts resulting from the tunnel boring activity.

A second Public Consultation covering both components of the project was held for the purpose of disclosing the results of the ESIA study on 27 July 2010 and has targeted the same audience including all related stakeholders as for the first consultation. Minutes of Meeting of the above meeting are attached to Appendix I.

The questions raised by the audience are given in Table 6 -55below.

Table 6 55 Questions Raised during Second Public Participation


7.

Question/Comments

Addressed by

Answer

Answered by


This project was addressed in the 70’s and faced many obstacles especially political ones, one of the obstacles is the fact that this project is taking the water to Beirut without feeding the areas where the tunnel will pass.


Eng. Nashaat Hamieh - Barja Municipality

The tunnel has openings all along to allow future connections to water networks and supply the areas along the tunnel.


Ismail Makke (CDR)

If the 3m3/s was allocated in the 70’s, is this amount considering the increase in water need from then till now? And is this amount enough to feed Beirut and the areas around the tunnel?





The 3 m3/s can meet Beirut’s needs, as for the needs of the areas surrounding the tunnel the Awali project if one part of the water project in Lebanon, the Bisri dam will shortly follow the Awali project and both projects will meet the requirements of Beirut and the other areas. The time difference between the 2 projects is one year so we might face a shortage problem for one year only.

Ismail Makke (CDR)

Is the Tunnel designed for 3m3/s?


Eng. Pierre Abi Rashed – P.A.R Consultants/Baabda Municipality

The tunnel is designed for 9 m3/s.


Ismail Makke (CDR)

When will the Awali and The Bisri project start?


Ministry of Environment

The implementation of the Awali Project will start in April – May 2011.

Bisri Dam will follow shortly




Ismail Makke (CDR)

Is Any Part of the tunnel passing on public roads?


Hassan Khawandi – Ministry of public works and transportation

The Tunnel will be underground (under private lands) whereas the twin pipelines will pass under roads


Ismail Makke (CDR)

The tunnel of Nahr Ibrahim took 8 years of work although it needed 4 years, what is the expected delay time for this project?


Mme Khoury – Carmel St Joseph School-Mechref

The problem of Nahr Ibrahim Tunnel was the method of drilling because the drilling was in different types of rocks.

For the Awali project the drilling will take place in one type of rocks using TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine). Minor problem that may occur because of underground unexpected issues are the only things that might delay the project, but hopefully it will end within its targeted time



Ismail Makke (CDR)

If we go back to the tunnel profile at what depth from the surface the tunnel will take place and by how much sand it will be overlain?


Pierre Abi Rashed – P.A.R Consultant/Baabda Municipality

The tunnel will be drilled in rocky lands at a depth ranging from 20 to 190 m. the lowest depth will be in the valleys of Wadi abu yabes and Damour River where there will be some gravel/sand.



Rashad Ghanem (ELARD)

We are hearing a lot these days that the Qaraoun Lake is polluted and part of the water coming to the Awali tunnel will be from Qaraoun, so would this water be drinkable?


Elie Farhat - Kfarshima Municipality

If we suppose that nothing is being done to treat the water of the Litani river and it all arrived to the Qaraoun Lake untreated, the water that will be taken from the lake for the Awali tunnel will be mixed with water from Ain El Zarka, the water passing under the Jizzine Tunnel and the water of Bisri lake, so if the water started with a 100% pollution it will reach the tunnel with 10% pollution, and then the water will be treated in the Ouardaniye WTW, thus the water will be clear and drinkable.

Furthermore, there is an ongoing plan to treat the water of the Litani River, this plan is implemented by a set of Water Treatment Plants that was built or is being built in Baalbak, Timnine, Zahle, Job Jinnine, Saghbine and Qaraoun, some of these started working and others will start soon.



Ismail Makke (CDR)

Who will follow up on the project while it is being executed and afterwards? The problem is that the studies are always very good but no one follows up afterwards. What about the other areas outside Beirut? What about the Naame Landfill? And what is the effect of the tunnel on the lands that it is passing under?

Mme Khoury – Carmel St Joseph School-Mechref

The status of the Naame Landfill is a part of the national plan for solid waste.

As for the Awali project, the ministry of environment had some strict rules regarding the sludge and mud that will be produced from the works, so these will be sent to the Naame landfill as it is the only place available.

There is no effect on the lands that the tunnel is passing under, because the tunnel is really deep.

As a proof all countries have subways that are much shallower and do not affect the lands, so a tunnel that deep should not have any effect. Another proof is that tunnels were dug long time ago for the litany project and nothing went wrong till now.



Ismail Makke (CDR) -

Mr. Nasser Nasrallah (president of Friends of Ibrahim Abd El Al Organization)




The Awali and Bisri projects are related. The fact that the Awali project took into consideration that more water will be conducted through it is a guarantee that the Bisri dam will be executed.

Both projects are crucial to provide water to Beirut and the surrounding areas through openings along the tunnel for future connections.

Kanan Lake is also a good source to feed the areas of Iqlim el Kharoub and this project will be raised later on.

As for the Qaraoun Lake, a plan was set to treat and prevent its pollution. The following water treatment plants are part of this plan:



  • Qaraoun station started working

  • Saghbine and Jibb Jinnine stations will start working this year, and Jib Jinninne covers the areas from Aammiq to Ain el Zibde.

  • Areas from Ghazze to North Baaloul and Areas along Rashaya will be also connected to the treatment plant.

  • Kob Elias, El Marj, Houch el harime, Bar Elias. Anjar and Majdel Anjar will be also connected to el Marj Station.

  • Zahle and its surroundins will have a treatment plant as well as Bednayel, Shmistar and Riyyak.

We can also note that during the summer, Qaraoun lake is not polluted because farmers build small sand dams along the Litany River to divert its water for irrigation purposes, so the polluted water of the litany will not reach the lake, leaving it clear and unpolluted. The problem occurs in the winter were the rain destroys the small dams and bring the water to the lake.

As for the follow up of the projects, Mr Nasrallah advised to increase our awareness and participation, like what we are doing in this meeting, so we can push the ministries and all the concerned responsible to act.



Mr. Nasser Nasrallah (president of Friends of Ibrahim Abd El Al Organization)








Are the 3 m3/s of water that will be used for this project guaranteed all over the year?


Mr. Abd El Rahman Ghaziri – Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Authority)

The critical time that the water is needed for is from April till October and the Qaraoun Lake was always able to meet its full capacity of 220 million m3 during this period. The actual usage of the Qaraoun is of 60 million m3, and it will reach 120 million m3 once project 800 starts operating.

So the water supply of the Awali project will always be guaranteed.

There is a future plan that consists of using the Qaraoun water for Agriculture and drinking a lot more than for generating electricity.


Ismail Makke (CDR)

On what basis the capacity of the phase 2 reservoirs was set? Was it set in the 70’s also or did it take into consideration the future needs?

Pierre Abi Rashed – P.A.R Consultant/Baabda Municipality


The time scope of the plans is 2030.

The 9m3/s that were planned for future use for the tunnel and the capacity of the reservoirs can meet the increasing demand for water for a sufficient time period even exceeding the year2030.


Ismail Makke (CDR)


Will you use explosives in the drilling process? Did you do a survey to the tunnel depth to check the type of material that will be faced? The presentation mentioned around 88 tons of sludge daily, will the Naame Landfill be able to accept this amount and what is the alternative plan?


Mr. Adel Yacoub – Ministry of Environment

For the overall project there will be no use of explosives, these will only be used at the beginning of the tunnel to open an entrance for the TBM Machine.

Surveys were done for the tunnel depth.

The materials that will result from the drilling will be reused in the project, the remaining sludge or mud will be disposed in the Naame landfill.

Naame landfill is receiving daily 2700 ton of solid waste from Beirut and Mount Lebanon, so the 80 or 100 tons of sludge will not have a major effect on the landfill capacity. Once the landfill is closed (after 2 to 3 years) the sludge will move to the alternative developed for it.

Mr. Nasrallah interfered and gave a comparison between Dbayeh and the Awali project:

In Dbayeh the water is more turbid because it comes from Jeita so it causes sedimentation in Nahr El Kalb. But in Awali the sediments are already deposited in Qaraoun and the only other place where the water becomes turbid is water coming from Ain el zarka to markaba after the first rain. So water reaching the treatment plant is not that turbid.




Ismail Makke (CDR) -

Mr. Nasser Nasrallah (president of Friends of Ibrahim Abd El Al Organization)




What is the time frame of the project?



The project should start in April/ May 2011 and should take 3-4 years to be completed.


Ismail Makke (CDR)

Suggestion: to use the water that will get out of the treatment plant and the excess of the water in the tunnel to produce energy.


Eng. Antoinette Sleiman (Litani Water Authority)







Is the Project going to take from the Water of the Damour River were the 2 ventilation shafts are present?





The tunnel will just pass by the Damour River without using any of its water.


Ismail Makke (CDR)

What is the Tunnel Composed off?





It will consist of reinforced concrete covered by stainless steel for the treated water to pass in.

One of the obstacles that delayed the project was to agree whether to do a concrete tunnel or pipelines, and the result was a combination, a tunnel to khalde and pipelines to distribute water from khalde to the reservoirs.

The tunnel is less costly then the pipelines.


Ismail Makke (CDR)

Wouldn’t it cost less if the WTW was done near Beirut?





May be It will cost a bit less but this way we would be depriving the areas where the tunnel passes from fresh water and this was a major problem during the study of the project.

Ismail Makke (CDR)


How does the expropriation law work?





A legal session formed of a judge and real estate experts will be held for each area that should be expropriated that will take into consideration all the facts related to this area and its surrounding and will issue a decision regarding the price of the area to be expropriated in accordance with the Lebanese expropriation law

Ismail Makke (CDR)

Environemental Impact Assessment




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