Tough appointment to the German Tesla factory over – but associations demand new procedure

After eight days of marathon discussion at the planned Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide, Brandenburg, instead of the previously planned three days, everyone looked exhausted and relieved on Friday. The Berlin Tagesspiegel reported on this at the weekend – but the resistance of environmental groups against the project does not end there. On the one hand, the representative of a local initiative said afterwards that the event should have been continued and announced that action might be taken against the “premature” end. And several associations requested the re-interpretation of the changed Tesla plans for the project, which would probably require further discussion.

Third interpretation of Tesla plans?

After some confusion, especially on the first day, the prescribed discussion of previously submitted written objections to the Tesla project east of Berlin found itself in a more orderly manner, but still took significantly longer than scheduled. The first meeting leader retired exhausted after the first three days. On Friday evening, his successor declared the hearing of the Tesla critics over – but that already met with resistance. According to a report by the RBB from the Grünheide citizens’ initiative, the termination was prematurely under pressure from the Brandenburg Environment Ministry.

The initiative reserved the right to take legal action against it. In addition, together with environmental associations, according to Tagesspiegel, while the discussion was still going on, she applied for Tesla to have to redesign the current plans for its German gigafactory. This had already happened twice: for the first time this January according to the then status and then again in June because Tesla had rescheduled parts of the foundations – after initial criticism – had reduced the water requirement. This made new objections possible, which have now been discussed together with those regarding the first version.


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According to the chairman of the meeting on Friday, the State Environment Agency now wants to take the necessary calm to decide on the requirement to interpret the Tesla plans a third time, which would then probably require a second hearing after the new deadlines. The same applies to the other points presented at the marathon date. The Tagesspiegel sees in the possible renewed interpretation the danger that Tesla’s schedule for the Gigafactory “could still tip over”, but does not give any details.

Tesla builds at your own risk

Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Jörg Steinbach, assumed that the project would be approved before the end of the year; authorities did not comment on this question; According to its own official information, Tesla wants to start production of Model Y in Grünheide in July 2021 and is aiming internally a few months earlier. The State Environment Agency is primarily responsible for the decision. Representatives of the state government such as Steinbach have said several times that they welcome and support the Tesla settlement, but also emphasized that all regulations must be complied with.

Opponents, on the other hand, claim that the political decision in favor of Tesla has long been made. The rapid construction progress on the Gigafactory site, which was made possible with a series of advance permits, could actually give the impression that there is no going back. But with every advance approval so far, the State Environment Agency emphasized that it was carried out at Tesla’s own risk within the framework of the applicable laws and that the work would have to be reversed in case of doubt.


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