By Manfred Mitterwachauer
Innsbruck – The deadline for comments under the current environmental impact assessment procedure expires on 1 July. That the proposed project for the merger of the Pitztaler with the Ötztal glacier ski area could turn out to be negative – I believe Alpine Association (AV), nature lovers and the WWF is not really. "We are afraid of a permit," AV secretary Robert Renzler said yesterday. Probably also because with the renewed coalition agreement between the ÖVP and the Greens in 2018, the project was put out of contention. On the contrary, it must be "processed" according to the relevant legal criteria.
It will exhaust all legal means against it, environmental protection organizations announced yesterday. Based on facts you can find in the project submission documents. With the 64 hectares of requested slopes, a new ski area would emerge – under the title of fusion – which is "bigger than a medium-sized ski area in the Tyrol," says Leopold Füreder, president of Naturfreunde Tirol. A reservoir of 104,000 cubic meters would be asphalted, four lifts and 74 hectares of glaciers grown "flattened, flooded, clean", as has been said. E: An eastern crest of the left Fernerkogls, respectively "a summit", would be removed to a mountain station by a good 40 meters. Memories of the Brunnenkogel wake up – as reported, the Pitztal Gletscherbahnen had cleared a mountain there (for now without a license) in order to widen a ski path.
All in all, the project massively threatened the pristine glacial desert, and all three NGOs yesterday urged tourism authorities and the state government to rethink in general and stop the marriage of glaciers in particular. Especially of the Greens, one is disappointed, so Renzler: "There are times when you can not go along, because otherwise you are no longer credible."
The state environmental promoter also brings a negative opinion, since LUA-Stv. Walter Chon confirms. Hans Rubatscher of the Pitztal Gletscherbahnen was not available for comment.
LA Mario Gerber (Chamber of Commerce, VP): "Alpine Club, Friends of Nature and WWF can bring their technical arguments in the context of the prosecution and save headlines like" Glacier Verbauung "before the proceedings start."
Walter Tschon (Landesumweltanwaltschaft):
"The project touches the Natura 2000 area and the Ötztaler Alpen Nature Park and can not be reconciled with the objective of protection. We are already against the basis of the current state of investigation and the documents of this project against a realization."
LA Gebi Mair (Green Club Observer):
"Operators should reassess whether the environmental impact of this development project is truly sustainable."