The North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court (OVG) has provisionally prohibited the Bayer industrial group from commissioning its carbon monoxide pipeline planned between Dormagen and Krefeld. At the same time, however, the judges allowed the company to finish building the pipeline at its own risk, as the OVG announced in Munster on Tuesday. Two private individuals, over whose properties the route is to run, had complained. The decisions of the OVG cannot be challenged.
A planning approval process had authorized Bayer to lay its CO pipeline across private land. In their reasoning, however, the judges expressed reservations about the declaratory procedure. They said there was a lack of "in-depth and convincing presentation of the importance" of the planned pipeline to the general public. Only great importance would justify access to private property. The judges also criticized that it was questionable whether the construction of the pipeline would strengthen the economic power of the industrial sector and the region as intended.At the same time, however, the judges also stressed that there were no objections to the security assessment of the facility. Residents and the city of Monheim had repeatedly criticized the safety risk of the route in recent months. An expert report commissioned by the Mettmann district administration had concluded that if the pipeline were to rupture, more than 143,000 people within a radius of 1.5 kilometers would be endangered by the odorless, highly dangerous respiratory poison.Bayer wants to use the pipeline to link its two sites in Dormagen and Krefeld, as carbon monoxide is needed in both chemical parks for plastics production.