The Environmental Authority has just submitted its report on the future motorway between Castres and Toulouse. In her conclusions, she shows herself to be somewhat unsevere about this project in terms of the environment. It points out shortcomings and makes recommendations.
Before the start of work on the A69 motorway, European legislation provides that the environmental impact assessments of major operations are subject to the opinion, made public, of a “competent authority in environmental matters”. That’s what theenvironmental authority.
The Environmental Authority has just issued its opinion, dated October 6, 2022, on the future motorway between Castres and Toulouse. The instance points to lakes:
“The impact study still has many gaps with regard to health impacts, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis of the variants only considers the road mode without sufficient exploration of reasonable alternatives that are less carbon-intensive and less space-consuming“
The Environmental Authority also mentions a discrepancy between the analysis of the project carried out several years ago and the data known today.
“In general, this road project, initiated several decades ago, appears anachronistic in view of the current challenges and ambitions of sobriety, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, stopping the erosion of biodiversity and the artificialization of the territory and the evolution of mobility practices and their links with regional development.” And to continue:
“The socio-economic analysis, of which only a summary is presented, does not appear to have been updated: it is based on traffic data and pollutant emission assumptions that are now obsolete.”
In its opinion, the Environmental Authority mainly recommends that the project developer update its study. This has several recommendations:
- resume traffic modeling using a model to take into account non-road modes of transport,
- update the chapter dealing with the variants in order to take into account the national objectives relating to the energy transition and the absence of net artificialisation, and to check whether the chosen choice remains relevant,
- calculate and update emissions during commissioning and in the long term, and to base the health risk assessment on the most recent World Health Organization guide values,
- reconsider the avoidance, reduction and compensation measures proposed for one of the objectives of no net loss of biodiversity and no net artificialisation.
Atosca, the company which obtained the concession for the section of the A69 motorway between Verfeil and Castres reacted with a press release and specifies that it will respond to the recommendations of the environmental authority.
“ATOSCA systematically takes into account the opinions of the various consultative bodies under the control of the State. It undertakes to carry out in-depth studies to consolidate the solutions proposed to the territories.”
On September 12, the The National Nature Protection Council had issued a rejected opinion on this motorway project. For its part, the monitoring committee is staying the course and the objective of starting work in early 2023 is maintained. The A69 motorway is an operation classified as a national priority by the government. Its commissioning is scheduled for 2025.
Opponents of the project remain mobilized. They are assigned a march between Castres and Toulouse from October 21 to 24.