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Tartu municipal council follows city council rejecting pulp mill project

Render of the planned pulp mill.
Render of the planned pulp mill. Source: (ERR)

The council of the rural municipality of Tartu, not to be confused with the Tartu city council, has decided to join the city's application that the planning exception granted by the government for a new billion-euro pulp mill in the area be cancelled.

In its decision, the council pointed to the lack of feasibility to carry out the project in the area given the resistance of the city as well as other conditions. According to daily Tartu Postimees, who had the news on Tuesday morning, the council wants the procedure stopped as well.

The council also pointed to the European Charter of Local Self-Government, according to which a local administrative unit is entitled to arrange and govern in the interest of the local population and social life.

It also pointed to Estonia's own Local Government Organisation Act, which specifies in detail local government's rights, powers, and duties to arrange and govern its area based on the justified interests of the local residents and taking into account a place's special characteristics.

The Tartu city council submitted an application on March 20 in which it is asking the government to terminate the procedure for a national designated spatial plan for the much-criticized Est-For pulp mill. The investment company wants to built the plant somewhere along the Emajõgi river, which according to the Tartu city council would seriously affect the city's economy and quality of life.

Planning to build the plant in Tartu County runs counter to the development plans of both the county and the city, Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform) said at the time, plans which clearly call for the preservation and the improvement of the environment, and the development of business in the area in a fashion that avoids further damage to it. The plans for investment group Est-For's new pulp mill go against all these interests, Klaas insisted.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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