Locals protest development of boreholes near Lake Uljaste

On Sunday, a 300-person demonstration called "Päästame Uljaste järve" ("Let's save Lake Uljaste") took place at Uljaste in Ida-Viru County .

The trigger for picketing is an application for exploration permit under discussion next week in Lüganuse rural municipality council, which sees the development of boreholes to research oil shale near Lake Uljaste, as reported by ETV daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera".

A petition was also created and over 1,100 signatures have been collected on paper and electronically.

Andrea Eiche, Municipality Mayor of Lüganuse, said: "In truth, no investigations are bad. According to legislation, he who has a permit for geological research, can automatically also submit an application for a mining permit, and that is the problem here."

She added: "Municipality government has proposed a bill to not permit research. Because the government feels that this research, only the research itself, puts Lake Uljaste in clear danger."

Raul Ivanov, chairman of the Sonda Department of the Estonian Society for Nature Conservation said: "If that's how it goes, then it's great. But I suspect that the applicant will still want to push it through and will turn to the Estonian government."

He thinks Sunday's demonstration will not be the last. "We're standing guard and observing everything happening around us and we're ready for further steps and demonstrations."


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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