Fiskeri eller gruvedrift?

30 Apr 2012

Flere steder i Norge er det nå aktuelle saker der det er spørsmål om man skal akseptere sjødeponi av gruveavfall. Når dette spørsmålet settes på spissen blir det en konflikt […]

Flere steder i Norge er det nå aktuelle saker der det er spørsmål om man skal akseptere sjødeponi av gruveavfall. Når dette spørsmålet settes på spissen blir det en konflikt mellom et ønske om å skape lønnsomme gruvebedrifter og et ønske om å unngå skade på marine ressurser. Jeg mener det bør reises spørsmål ved om vi har et regelverk og et forvaltningsregime som i slike konflikter er i stand til å ta forsvarlig hensyn til de marine ressursene.

Det er forurensningsloven som er den sentrale loven for å sikre miljøet ved etablering av sjødeponier. Et slikt deponi vil trenge en individuell tillatelse til å forurense (utslippstillatelse) etter forurensningslovens § 11.

Behandlingen av en slik sak vil skje i to trinn. Først vurderer forurensningsmyndighetene hvilke tiltak som kan iverksettes for å begrense skadevirkningene av forurensningen. Så foretar de et valg. Enten gir myndighetene tillatelse med vilkår for å begrense skadevirkningene – eller de avslår søknaden fordi skadevirkningene (til tross for begrensende tiltak) blir så betydelige at tillatelse ikke bør gis.


Det er to svært ulike vurderinger som foretas i de to trinnene. Vurderingen av hvilke vilkår som bør settes kan skje etter en rent faglig vurdering der man først og fremst legger vekt på tiltakenes effektivitet. Forurensningsmyndighetene har faglig kompetanse på dette og kan sette egnede vilkår med stor autoritet.

Vurderingen er helt annerledes og langt mer sammensatt når man skal vurdere om tiltaket i det hele tatt bør gis anledning til å etablere seg. Forurensningslovens siste ledd slår fast at man i slike tilfeller skal ”legge vekt på de forurensningsmessige ulemper ved tiltaket sammenholdt med de fordeler og ulemper som tiltaket for øvrig vil medføre”. Slike brede samfunnsmessige vurderinger har ikke forurensingsmyndighetene særlig kompetanse til å foreta. Det dreier seg om politiske helhetsvurderinger.

Det vi i praksis ser er at forurensningsmyndighetene sjelden bruker denne adgangen til å avslå søknader om utslippstillatelse. I noen tilfeller tror jeg det kan skyldes at disse myndighetene mangler den politiske autoritet som skal til for å foreta omstridte politiske helhetsvurderinger. Det dreier seg tross alt om fagorganer som først og fremst har kompetanse knyttet til forurensning.

Debatten om man skal akseptere sjødeponier for gruveavfall inneholder åpenbart en grunnleggende uenighet mellom fiskeri- og miljøinteressene og de interessene som ønsker gruvedrift. Det at Havforskingsinstituttet er så negative til slike deponier viser også at det er faglig grunnlag for skepsisen fra dem som er bekymret for det marine miljøet.

Det som er min bekymring er at vi i liten grad ser en åpen og klargjørende debatt om premissene for valget mellom ”gruveinteresser” og risikoen for å skade det marine miljøet. Vurderingen av risikoen for å skade miljøet er åpenbart preget av usikkerhet, og det er også en situasjon der det er viktig å være forsiktig slik at man unngår å skade det marine miljø. Dette krever at man foretar bevisste valg. Mangelen på åpenhet og debatt om dette valget gjør meg særlig bekymret for at usikkerheten knyttet til skadene på det marine miljø blir et argument for å legge for beskjeden vekt på dette hensynet – noe som på sikt kan skape betydelig skade for det marine miljø og for fiskerihensynene.

Om forfatteren

Halfdan Mellbye
Halfdan Mellbye Halfdan Mellbye har i 25 år arbeidet med ulike juridiske problemstillinger innenfor fiskeri- og havbruksnæringen. Han har blant annet arbeidet svært mye med næringsreguleringsspørmål og han har i tillegg særlig gode kunnskaper om de biologiske og miljømessige utfordringene for næringsutøverne. Han har i en årrekke vært faglig ansvarlig for faget Havbruksjus ved Universitetet i Bergen. Han har nylig utgitt boken "Rettslig regulering av norsk akvakultur" som er utgitt på Universitetsforlaget 2018. Halfdan har møterett for Høyesterett.

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