Man measures earth with a measuring device

© AP -

At today's meeting of the Mediation Committee, the parties involved agreed on a joint position on the Geological Data Act.

The committee agreed that the necessary geological data must be able to be made available to the public as soon as possible, particularly those required for the transparent search for and selection of a site for high-level radioactive waste. The conciliation procedure, which was conducted in a swift and constructive manner, has shown that the Federal Government and the federal states are united in one central objective of the Geological Data Act: ensuring that this process is transparent is crucial in order to gain public acceptance for a future site for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste. For this reason, the parties involved have agreed to place even greater importance on this key objective of the Geological Data Act.

The law that has been passed by the Bundestag also provides for a ‘presumption of conformity’ in favour of the site selection procedure, in addition to the comprehensive publication obligations set forth in it. Geological data from private companies, which are published as technical data either after a certain period of time or as evaluation data only after a balancing of interests has taken place, can now be published regularly in case they are needed for the site selection procedure. In addition to providing for the publication of geological data after ten years, which has already been achieved for the vast majority of such data through the law’s entry into force, evaluation data for the site selection procedure will also be published after 30 years under certain conditions.

This agreement represents a good compromise between the objective of providing the greatest possible transparency of data for the repository search and the protection of industrial and commercial secrets of the industry concerned as required under constitutional law. At the same time, the Geological Data Act includes a new concept for access to specific environmental information.

Today's recommendation by the Mediation Committee with respect to a decision will now be submitted to the Bundestag and Bundesrat for approval.