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The Environmental Effects of Motor Sports – Case KymiRing EIA

A driving instruction and motor sports center, to be built in Kymenlaakso, is in its planning stages. Once completed, it will be the largest center in Northern Europe. Sito is the EIA consult for this project.

South-east Finland’s Centre for Economic Development, Transport and The Environment decided in summer 2013 that environmental impact assessment (EIA) should be employed in the KymiRing motor sports centre project. KymiRing will be the first motor sports centre in Finland that will implement EIA in the plan.

KymiRing is a highly versatile project and after its completion, it will be the flagship of Finnish motor sports and driving instruction. Its location is excellent for both driving instruction and motor sport enthusiasts. Reasonable distance from Helsinki metropolitan area and Lahti freeway make it an accessible activity centre.

The project’s national impact is significant. At KymiRing drivers can safely train truck driving and rescue and military vehicle driving. Effective training has a positive impact on traffic safety. KymiRing also offers a wide range of motor sports.

KymiRing’s most prominent environmental impact is noise pollution caused from the driving. Powerful vehicles are different from regular vehicles and they generate a lot of noise pollution. Motor sport impacts nature also in other ways which Sito estimates in the project’s EIA. Sito is drafting the zoning plan for the area, which goes hand in hand with the EIA.

The EIA process has started in September 2013 and the assessment will be handed to the officials during the fall. The EIA process will take up to a year to complete and the official’s statement is scheduled for August 2014. Interaction has a big role in this process. For this reason, Sito’s sociologists with environmental experts are closely involved in this project.