“Local” obstacles on the way to wind farm construction in Donetsk Oblast

Actions of local councils/municipalities: Other actions Donets'k region

Complainee: Nikolsk District State Administration (District State Administration)
Complaint in brief: An alternative energy development company turned to the Business Ombudsman Council. Prior to the wind farm construction, the company had to pay to the local budget for losses that were to be caused by the felling of plantations. In turn, such damages had to be calculated and approved by the Commission for Compensation of Losses to Landowners and Land Users (the Commission) under the local authority. However, the complainant encountered obstacles on the part of the Commission. Initially, the Commission refused several times and explained to the complainant that it could not make calculation due to lack of specialists. In view of the said, the company proposed to the Commission to make a preliminary calculation of losses according to tree plantations felling plan by engaging the forestry at the company’s request. The complainant sent the prepared documents to the Commission for consideration, but, in its opinion, the calculation was incorrect. The district state administration proposed to engage other forestries in the oblast to keep records of trees. Such an approach also did not guarantee that the prepared calculations would not be acknowledged incorrect. Therefore, the complainant insisted that the procedure defined by the legislation in accordance with which the Commission makes calculations is observed. Having found itself in a difficult situation, the company asked the BOC for help.
Actions taken: The investigator examined the case file and found the complaint substantiated. According to the Council, the District State Administration needed expert support from Donetsk Regional State Administration to ensure proper performance of duties by the Commission.
Therefore, the BOC appealed to Donetsk Regional State Administration and District State Administration and asked the Commission to calculate losses from felling as soon as possible, as provided by law.
To help resolve the dispute between the company and the local government authority, the Business Ombudsman held an online meeting with the leadership team of Donetsk Regional State Administration. The BOC investigator closely monitored implementation of recommendations provided to the local government authority.
Result achieved: By order of the Cabinet of Ministers, Nikolsk District State Administration was reorganized. Powers of the Commission on organization were transferred to the newly established Mariupol District State Administration. The local government authority followed the Council’s recommendations.  The Commission calculated the losses from felling of plantations. The company thanked the Council’s team for support: “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to you for professional and high-quality resolution of the issue on our complaint. We are especially grateful to the investigator who conducted our case and approached the issue with deep understanding and carefulness”.

Next case:: Kharkiv enterprise is no longer a “risky” one