The State Environmental Agency has given Tesla the manufacturer of electric vehicles permission to prepare a construction site in Grünheide, to lay roads in the forest and clear 91.5 hectares of forest for Giga Berlin.
Authorities said the clearing of forests and preparatory measures, such as the construction of construction roads, were approved on Thursday. Environmental approval is still pending.
Jörg Steinbach, Minister for the Economy, Labor and Energy of the State of Brandenburg, tweeted:
"It starts! Preparation for construction has begun. A historical photo taken a few minutes ago."
“Tesla is now allowed to start this work at it own risk, before a decision is made to approve environmental protection,” said Frauke Zelt, spokeswoman for the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment in a statement on Thursday. If approval is ultimately denied, Tesla will have to restore it to its original state.
If Tesla clears the forest on a total area of 91.5 hectares, the American automaker will certainly have to restore spare areas. “There are many requirements for protecting the environment and people, this must be followed during work,” said Zelt.
Authorities have also established conditions for protecting the environment and residents, for example, in terms of permissible noise. They stipulate that the buildings closest to the premises of the company should not exceed the standard values of emissions from 60 to 70 decibels during the day and values from 40 to 55 decibels at night. To ensure compliance with the limit values at the site, a continuous noise measurement is performed.
Also, since the site is partially located in the drinking water protection zone, there is a requirement that cars can only be refueled off-site.
The Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment emphasized that this decision is not an environmental approval. “The approval process continues, and there is still the opportunity to raise objections to the project before March 5,” it was informed.
Objections will be publicly discussed with all parties on March 18, 2020, and then again reviewed in detail by the licensing authority. Only when the examination of the application shows that all the approval requirements have been met, will the final approval of the project be issued.
Work begins immediately, and the first trees are already cut down. All the necessary equipment was already in place for several days.
The deforestation process has already begun, which means that everything is proceeding according to a predetermined plan and Tesla manages to do all the work in the previously set deadlines.
The government of Brandenburg is doing great to help the American automaker, which will give the local population about 8,000 jobs. Germany is notorious for its bureaucratic apparatus, so many expressed concern that Tesla would not be able to begin construction according to it plan. But the state government has proven itself to be a highly qualified leadership that can organize a quick approval process.
It is also worth noting that the territory on which Tesla will build its Giga Berlin was previously considered by BMW for its factory. They did a lot of work to prepare this site for construction, received important permits, including environmental ones. That is why the whole process went much faster than many of us expected.
This was one of the main reasons why Tesla CEO Elon Musk chose this place for construction. His calculation once again demonstrated to us that he thinks several steps ahead and reaches his goals.
Featured image: Jörg Steinbach / Twitter
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.