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Verdict on Elbe fairway adjustment expected in New Year

Court verdict to set nationwide, legal framework for water management and water protection

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig discussed legal and expert issues in connection with the fairway adjustment of the lower and outer Elbe for container ships with a draught of 14.50 m over three days this week. Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, said: “We await the verdict on February 9, 2017 eagerly and confidently.”

Important for future of harbour

The fairway adjustment is presently the most strategic expansion project in the port of Hamburg. The seaward approach to the harbour must be adjusted in the long term to technical developments in view of rapidly growing ships, the senate believes. The fairway adjustment is the only means of ensuring that Hamburg can be reached under economically viable conditions. Environmental associations have warned of possible impacts on water and species protection.

The legal issues are breaking new ground and the imminent decision on first “deepening of the river Elbe” will indicate how the legal framework for water management and environmental protection objectives should be applied across Germany.

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