For the third time, this Monday (November 22nd) ended a period within which people and associations who had submitted objections to the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin could explain them and respond to their comments. The first repetition was necessary because Tesla made extensive changes to its plans for the German factory this June, the second, because the State Environment Agency may have announced the online discussion procedure too late. After three weeks, the second online round is now over, so that the next step in the long process could be the final approval after many in advance. However, documents from Tesla are still missing.
Less interested in Tesla discussion
After the deadline, Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach remains optimistic that the first electric cars will roll off the production line in Grünheide in 2021, reported on Monday the Berliner Morgenpost. He does not see any “huge problems” growing out of the comments made in the most recent round. The state set up a task force for the Tesla factory early on, and the minister described the mood as resolved, according to the report.
A total of 811 citizens and organizations had previously submitted objections to the Tesla project. Like the public broadcaster RBB reported on Monday on the Internet, only eight new comments were received in the repeated online discussion from the beginning of November until noon. The interest has clearly decreased. Either way, when the deadline expires, an important formal hurdle has been cleared – if Tesla does not make major changes to its plans again or notices another formal error, the mandatory public participation is complete.
Gigafactory documents are still missing
Steinbach’s statement about a possible Gigafactory start in 2021 corresponds roughly to what Tesla boss Elon Musk at a festival in early October said on the site in Grünheide. However, the Minister of Economic Affairs also said he could not guarantee it. Ultimately, according to the RBB report, a representative of the State Environment Agency made a similar cautious statement – and more specifically. He said he could not name a time for the final approval. Perhaps surprisingly for some, he also let it be known that Tesla has not yet done all the preparatory work for it: The company still has to submit certain documents on issues relating to pollution control and water law.