Let the silence last on Svartisen!

The Norwegian Environmental Protection Agency cannot accept commercial removal of ice from Svartisen. The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) refers to the consultation document of 21/04/16 where Svaice AS applies for dispensation from the area part of the municipal plan for the extraction of ice from Svartisen for commercial sale. In addition, an application is being made for the use of a helicopter to transport the ice from Svartisen for further production.

Svaice AS plans to extract up to 440 m3 of ice just west of the storage reservoir Storglomvatnet. From there, the ice will be transported by helicopter to Holmvassdalen, where the transport will continue by car to Glomfjorden, where ice cubes will be produced.

The NMF strongly opposes taking ice from the Svartisen glacier for use in drinks. It is an environmentally destructive project, which includes the demolition of part of the national heritage near a beautiful national park. The brine, which has been formed over thousands of years, is now at risk of being chopped up so that some snobbish people on the continent can buy expensive drinks with crackling ice cubes.

The project is environmentally objectionable in several ways:

  • Destroys ice that is already exposed to melting.
  • Tracked machines with associated noise and exhaust near the national park.
  • Noise and pollution in connection with the extraction of ice from the glacier.
  • Helicopter transport with accompanying noise and exhaust near the national park.
  • Air transport of ice cubes to destination.
  • Local car transport of ice cubes that could have been made at the restaurant.
Climate emissions
Airplane-borne ice cubes are not good for nature, and are also harmful to the climate. A lot of energy is used to get the ice out, transport and cool the ice and will lead to environmental emissions from production, processing, transport via plane, boat and car to the end user, in addition to energy consumption for cooling along the way. This would be completely unacceptable.

Natural areas are deteriorating
Even if the extraction point is not located inside the national park, the ice extraction and helicopter transport will detract from the impression of one of the entrance gates to the national park. The power development in connection with Svartisen, the so-called Stor-Glomfjord development, was a disaster for the national park. This was a development that should not have been done and has destroyed much of the overall impression and facade of Svartisen. The national park was supposed to embrace both Storglomvatnet and the area around Fonndal farm. It is therefore important that the destruction does not now continue. Although there is talk of using the ice as a resource, the operation itself is serious and very unsightly. The areas around the national park are very important as a buffer area against the national park. Therefore, those areas should also be protected against further encroachment and environmentally damaging activities.

Serious noise pollution
In relation to last year's application and activities, the applicant has given the impression that there will be less helicopter transport in connection with the measure in 2016. NMF believes that a significant helicopter activity has been applied for both in connection with work on the ice and with transport.

NMF requires that no helicopter transport be accepted. The noise will be significant both for those who live in the area and for reindeer husbandry. Does Svaice AS get permission according to application, this will be to the great detriment of both reindeer husbandry and residents. It will not be livable in this noise, neither for people, reindeer herding nor other fauna.

The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association cannot accept that Svaice AS is allowed to continue its business of removing blocks of ice from the Svartisen. Although the extraction area is outside the national park, it is very important that there is also a buffer zone outside the park's boundaries where unsightly interventions and noise pollution should not be opened up. The withdrawal destroys the entirety of Svartisen and must not be allowed to continue. Isbreis is a luxury item for the few and will generate a lot of unnecessary climate emissions, which is completely unacceptable. It must also not be opened for any large-scale helicopter freight to and from the ice. This will lead to serious noise pollution which will make it unlivable for both people, reindeer herding and other fauna.

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