May 22, 2022 6:43 pm

The opposition squeezes the Xunta after the rulings of the TSXG against several wind farms




in the last few months Galician justice has overturned up to three decisions of the Xunta to approve wind farms. The last case was The Roncudo, in Corme. In a ruling released last Friday, the Superior Court of Justice of Galicia (TSXG) annulled the authorization of the Galician Government for reducing the period for consulting the environmental impact report from 30 to 15 days of the park and present arguments. The decision, warned the Court, is contrary to European regulations. The new sentence, against which there is still an appeal, has given wings to the BNG that has been criticizing for some time that the Xunta favors the electricity companies with its legislative changes.

In a press conference in the Galician Chamber, the nationalist deputy Luis Bará requested this morning the “urgent” appearance of the Minister of Economy, Francisco Conde, to offer explanations.

Bará described the ruling of the TSXG as “forceful”, since it confirms the “violation” of the Xunta of the environmental law of the European Union. The Galician high court thus collects it in its sentence. In 2017, the Xunta promoted the Law to promote the implementation of business initiatives in Galicia. With it, he intended, among other issues, to reduce legal procedures and speed up deadlines to facilitate the placement of new wind turbines in the Galician mountains. But the TSXG magistrates emphasize that that law “is contrary to two European directives on the environment.” They indicate that the period of public information for the prior authorization of construction of the park can be reduced, but not so that interested parties can consult the environmental assessment report and submit allegations if they consider that there are effects that are not taken into account.

According to Ep reports, Bará denounced that the legal change introduced in 2017 shows “how far the Xunta is willing to go” to “blatantly” favor the interests of large electricity companies. The deputy of the Bloc assured that the Xunta acts as a “management” of these companies and that, for this, it has been modifying the norms that regulate the sector for 12 years. He cited the Wind Power Law, the Business Initiatives Law and the amendment to the Economic Reactivation Law in 2021. All these amendments were made, in his opinion, with the aim of “favoring companies, eliminating deadlines and reduce the guarantees of control and supervision, by the administration». “What else has to happen in Galicia for the Xunta to put an end to this abuse of rights?” asked Bará.

Oribio and Mondoñedo

The BNG deputy recalled that there are three rulings of the TSXG that question the planning and wind development of the Galician Government. In addition to the failure of the O Roncudo park, the TSXG has also knocked down the construction of the Oribio wind farm (Courel) and the modification of another project in Mondoñedo. In the first case, an environmental impact statement had been made in 2005, but the farm was paralyzed until 2019. In October 2021, when the machines were already on the ground to start construction, the Court considered that this statement was “outdated” given that during these years different laws had been modified. The complainants, the Salvemos O Iribio Platform, explained at the time that since 2005 the regulations had changed and currently the installation of new wind farms in areas protected by the Red Natura, as is the case, are prohibited.

In November 2020, the TSXG also ruled against the approval by the Xunta of a modification of the Sasdónigas wind farm, in Mondoñedo. The magistrates considered that Norvento intended to carry out “an artificial division of a single wind farm into two phases” and stressed that this «dismemberment» prevents elements such as an archaeological site from being analyzed. The judges also warned that “specially protected elements, such as the Camino de Santiago” were not correctly valued either, since a road from the wind farm crossed it.

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