INFO THE DEPECHE. The National Nature Protection Council issues an unfavorable opinion on the A69

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It was expected. The national council for the protection of nature (CNPN) issued an unfavorable opinion on the motorway between Castres and Toulouse. The Atosca dealer says it will take into account this advisory opinion, which does not call the project into question.

It’s not really a surprise. The National Council for the Protection of Nature (CNPN) has issued an unfavorable opinion on the motorway project between Castres and Toulouse. “It is indeed quite rare to obtain a favorable opinion for a project of this nature, the role of the CNPN being to identify all the possible margins of progress in favor of biodiversity. The CNPN has also been very attentive to the integration of current ecological and energy transition issues,” reacts Martial Gerlinger, CEO of Atosca, the concessionaire of the future A69.

The CNPN is a body of scientific, technical and independent expertise whose role is to analyze and give an opinion on the measures proposed by a contracting authority to avoid, reduce and compensate for the impacts of an infrastructure project. on biodiversity. Its opinion, which is advisory, is an integral part of the procedure prior to the public inquiry under the environmental authorization which will take place in November.

For the CNPN, the A69 “does not constitute an imperative reason of major public interest”

And the CNPN is not kind to this project by “not considering the arguments put forward by the concessionaire as sufficient to constitute an imperative reason of major public interest” despite the declaration of public utility decreed by the State in July 2018 after public inquiry. “This file is in contradiction with the national commitments in terms of the fight against climate change, the objective of zero net artificialisation and zero net loss of biodiversity, as well as in terms of purchasing power”, indicates the CNPN which goes so far as to question the interest of opening up the basin, contesting that the motorway will increase the attractiveness of the territory.

However, this opinion does not call into question the project and the current procedure. “This advisory opinion will allow Atosca to carry out further studies to optimize its actions”, also indicates Martial Gerlinger who affirms that “the A69 is resolutely a sustainable mobility infrastructure compatible with the latest orientations of the State. These changes will be presented in the impact study file confirming the relevance of the project. And specifies that “to integrate all the national commitments in terms of energy transition and biodiversity, the project has evolved significantly since the declaration of public utility in 2018.”

“An exemplary project in terms of energy and ecological transition” according to Atosca

On the protected species component, Atosca will “specify each of the subjects mentioned in the CNPN opinion. “As a responsible concessionaire, Atosca is encouraged by the CNPN notice to detail some of the results of its studies, to complete its file submitted to the public inquiry under the environmental authorization in order to present as part of the public inquiry this fall, this new generation project, and its exemplary nature in terms of energy and ecological transition,” says Martial Gerlinger.
It is at the end of this public inquiry that the prefect must issue an authorization to start the work.


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