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Preserving biodiversity

Teréga reaffirms its commitment to the environment

Implementing regulations

In accordance with regulations, every application made by Teréga considers the issues of biodiversity, particularly in protected areas. Therefore, whenever new pipelines are planned, studies of the fauna and flora are conducted in the zone reserved for the final pipeline route.

In order to meet the applicable regulatory requirements, Teréga is using the ‘avoid, reduce, offset’ approach on all of its projects

Teréga examines how environmental impacts can be avoided and reduced from the preliminary design phases of its gas pipelines.

Priority is given to avoiding impacts by researching a route with the lowest environmental impact. In at-risk areas where impacts cannot be avoided, impact reduction measures are implemented during the worksite phase. Based on extensive feedback from multi-year environmental monitoring following our works, these measures have continuously evolved over the years in order to be most effective. Finally, when impacts can neither be avoided nor reduced, compensatory measures are put in place.

Building and maintaining pipelines: crossing watercourses

Special techniques are used for any operation involving crossing a watercourse. These are constantly being refined in order to reduce the impact of the work on the aquatic environment.
For exemaple, Teréga conducts electric fishing operations before any work in a watercourse. This technique, recognised as being the least traumatic for fish, is the most effective way of removing the entire aquatic fauna. Furthermore, routes are extended using bridges (e.g. Bailey bridges). These protect riverbanks, which are sometimes home to European mink, and maintain ecological continuity. Elaborate methods have been put in place to filter the water and capture material in suspension.
Finally, the restoration of riverbanks is completed with the application of the most appropriate ecological engineering techniques.

Continuous commitment shown and recognised

Teréga has been recognised by the Department of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy since January 2014 for its commitment to the National Biodiversity Strategy. This distinction recognises all of the actions implemented by Teréga to limit the impact of its gas pipeline installation works.

2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the ISO 14001 certification awarded for Teréga's environmental management system, which was renewed in 2015 for three years. This attests to the company’s long-term commitment, as well at its continuous improvement in the area of the environment.

Teréga goes beyond regulatory requirements by regularly performing comprehensive studies of the flora and fauna in the easements above underground pipes. These field studies have demonstrated the swift return to nature of the areas on pipe routes, and the enrichment of biodiversity resulting from the creation of open land in wooded areas. Teréga's easements are in many cases veritable ecological corridors, allowing fauna to move around freely and the growth of often protected species of flora.

Ecological corridors are also an important consideration in aquatic settings, which is why in autumn 2016 Teréga will level down a ridge several metres high in the Adour river to enable aquatic and semi-aquatic species to move freely, including the Pyrenean desman (a protected species endemic to the Pyrenees).

Restoring technical basins around storage sites.

Through its natural gas storage activity at Lussagnet (40) and Izaute (32), Teréga has a number of drillings with associated basins to collect the sludge resulting from drilling.  
The company has set itself the target of restoring those basins which are of ecological value.

Their value is calculated on the basis of various criteria:

  • the situation of each basin relative to the main environmental zones (Natura 2000, ZNIEFF etc.) ;
  • the ecological characteristics of each site (survey of the main floral species to determine the possibility of colonisation at each basin);
  • occasional observations and sightings of wildlife species seen at each site.

The convergence of these different evaluation criteria has made it possible to select those basins which have significant ecological potential. They have been preserved and restored as wetland areas. The other basins have also been redeveloped through filling in and restoration.

Sharing and working in partnership with our stakeholders

Respect for biodiversity (conservation of species and wildlife protection) is a key consideration for Teréga. It is part of its environmental and societal policy to foster sustainable development of the region.
As proof of its commitment, Teréga signed a biodiversity charter in 2010 and has launched actions at the regional level.

Discover biodiversity on its land

The knowledge that Teréga has acquired on biodiversity across its land has encouraged it to extend the fauna/flora inventories across its existing network. The company works in partnership with the Natural Areas Conservatories (CEN) in Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées.

The ambitious cooperation between an industrial figure and associations aims to direct easement (areas above underground pipes) maintenance practices and to adapt how it manages natural spaces depending on how sensitive the area is.

Teréga also encourages improved knowledge-sharing in the area of natural national heritage through, for example, a partnership with the National Natural History Museum to make available the wealth of data in its flora/fauna inventories, collected before works.

Complete projects

Teréga is a stakeholder committed to safeguarding and promoting local plant heritage. In fact, in 2015 the company signed an agreement with the Conservatoire Végétal Régional d’Aquitaine to create a two-hectare orchard made up of species from the region.

Teréga has also contributed on a national level to developing the ‘Végétal Local’ (local plant) and 'Vraies Messicoles' (authentic grainland) labels for several years. This project, piloted by the Fédération des Conservatoires Botaniques Nationaux, aims to make certified locally-sourced seeds and plants available to individuals and professionals. The project has seen results since 2015, with several suppliers receiving the label in the 11 biogeographic regions of France.

Raise awareness and exchange ideas

Teréga organised a biodiversity seminar in December 2015. The seminar was aimed at all Teréga employees and other people the company regularly interacts with (other infrastructure managers, design offices, government agencies, and associations) and involved a day for information-sharing and discussions, with particular involvement from associations (CEN (Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels), the Bird Protection League, botanical conservatories, etc.), government agencies, and design offices.

Join workgroups and committees

To improve its practices, Teréga has joined a number of workgroups and committees.

  • CIL&B: Club infrastructures linéaires et biodiversité (linear infrastructure and biodiversity club): This group performs numerous actions to encourage biodiversity and ecological continuity such as seminars, publications, and research projects, etc.).  It is made up of biodiversity representative from linear infrastructure management companies (Teréga, RTE, ERDF, RFF, VNF, GRTgaz and VINCI Autoroutes).
  • Operations in sensitive areas: this group, coordinated by the GESIP (petrol and chemical industry safety study group), made up of interprofessional associations such as AFG (French gas association), representatives from ministries and natural area managers such as ATEN (technical workshop on natural areas), aims to set out ways of working in sensitive areas located close to pipelines.
  • Green and blue networks: Teréga is part of the TVB Aquitaine regional committee and involved in drawing up the regional ecological coherence plan (SRCE) for Midi-Pyrénées, steered by the regional councils.
  • Teréga is involved in steering committees for Natura 2000 (Adour) projects.

Map of installations

Map of installations

List of Teréga territories operating in the 15 departments of the South West

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