The US electric car maker Tesla is allowed to start clearing the forest despite the ongoing environmental approval process for its new plant in Grünheide.
The State Office for the Environment has given approval for the early start of clearing a nearly 92-hectare piece of forest, said the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment. According to the Brandenburg government spokesman Florian Engels, the clearing on site has already started. A spokeswoman for Tesla Germany was initially unavailable.
In addition, according to the Ministry of the Environment, Tesla has received permission for preparatory measures such as the construction of construction roads to the affected area in accordance with Section 8 of the Federal Immission Control Act.
The ministry made it clear that Tesla could start work “at your own risk”. “However, the investor had to undertake to restore the original state if approval for the project could not be granted.” For the forest, this means that replacement areas must be reforested in any case.
“This decision does not involve anticipation of the final approval,” it said. The approval process continues. Citizens can submit concerns and suggestions until March 5, which will later be discussed in public.
According to the ministry, numerous requirements to protect the environment and the population during the work have been laid down. The purchase contract for the property was signed in mid-January. However, a second, independent report on the property value is still pending. Ownership with entry in the land register is only transferred to Tesla when the purchase price has been paid.