What is being done to protect the environment during the building and construction phase and when the fixed link is open?
Building the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link with a minimum impact for the environment has the highest of priorities. As with the fixed links across the Great Belt and the Øresund, comprehensive and detailed studies of the environmental impact will be carried out. Above all, experiences made with regard to effective environmental protection from the Great Belt and Øresund projects are being used.
What is done to prevent or reduce the impact on bird life and porpoises?
Femern A/S has been conducting extensive studies on bird life and on the marine mammals living in the Fehmarnbelt. The study results will for example help to determine the effects a fixed link may have on bird migration and porpoises. For instance, it is investigated to what extent a bridge can affect the trajectory of migrant birds, and if underwater sound during the construction phase will lead to a change in the porpoises’ behaviour or distribution. Lasting effects on bird life and marine mammals can also be evaluated on the basis of the investigations. The experience from Great Belt and Øresund documents that “artificial reefs” may develop as a consequence of underwater construction elements, which can improve living conditions for birds and marine mammals.
Will there be a higher ship collision risk during the construction phase? A potential accident with involving an oil tanker could have devastating consequences for nature and tourism in that area.
The Fehmarnbelt is one of the most frequented shipping routes in Europe. During the construction phase, a Vessel Tracking Service System (VTS) will be introduced in the Fehmarnbelt for the very first time. This means that the movement of all ships passing through the Fehmarnbelt will be monitored, thereby significantly reducing the risk of collisions. Moreover, construction work sites in the marine area will always be limited to relatively small areas at a time and clearly marked. This means that the collision risk for ships in the area will at least be the same level as today – if not lower.
In the operation phase the tunnel poses no barrier for ship traffic, as it is located below the seabed. Moreover, the expected reduction of ferry service frequency after the opening of the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel can also have a positive effect on navigational safety in the Fehmarnbelt.
Will the noise emissions during the construction phase expel the endangered porpoises from their protected nursery?
Extensive investigations have been conducted, both from air and from sea, and data on porpoises in the Fehmarnbelt has been collected. This data includes statistics about both the number of porpoises and the number of porpoise mothers/calves. On the ground of these investigations, there is no indication that the alignment corridor of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link can be considered as a specific breeding area for porpoises. Furthermore, investigations have shown that the noise level during the construction phase will not exceed the legal limit value (160db within 750 metres).