In any EIA system, a definitive record of EIA reports undertaken should be maintained and made public (Wood 1995). We have chosen four of them as a basis for our research: Wind Park Svabovce I with two wind power stations, Wind Park Svabovce II with five wind power stations, Wind Park Horka pri Poprade with four wind power stations, and Wind Park Straze pod Tatrami with five wind power stations (Fig. 7.2).
Current Landscape Structure
Fig. 7.2 Current landscape structure of all cadastral areas and the placement of proposed wind parks
All these parks are situated (Fig. 7.3) in the east part of the Slovak Republic (Presov region, Poprad district), covering an area of 3,061.33 ha. According to the geomorphological division of Slovakia (Mazur and Luknis 1980), cadastral areas belong to the unit Podtatranska kotlina Basin. These cadastral areas fall under the moderately cool subregion: basins with high altitude are cool. Average temperatures vary between 4 ° and —6 °C in January and from 14 ° to 17 °C in July. The total rainfall varies from 600 to 900 mm/year (Fasko and Stastny 2002). According to the phytogeographical division of Slovakia (Futak 1980), all cadastral areas belong to the subregion of Pannonian flora (Pannonicum), ward of West Carpathian flora (Carpaticum occidentale), and district Inner Carpathian Basin
(Intercarpaticum). According to the zoogeographical division of Slovakia, the terrestrial biocycle, Svabovce, Horka pri Poprade, and Straze pod Tatrami cadastral areas belong to the West Carpathian District of Carpathian Mountain subprovince and Central European mountain province (Cepelak 1980). According to the zoogeographical division of Slovakia, the limnic biocycle (Hensel and Krno 2002), these cadastral areas belong to the Poprad area of Atlantic province.
Among the most common impacts on landscape evaluated are impacts on landscape structure, protected areas, landscape image (visual impact), and ecological stability. The proposed wind turbine plants were evaluated with a matrix method, using assessment of impact significance (in positive or negative sense) as follows:
– Without impacts (the proposed activity will not affect components of natural environment, population, and landscape in any way): value, 0;
– Insignificant impact (mainly impact with character of risk, coincidence, or with a negligible influence or contribution): value, 1;
– Small significant impact (impact with low influence from quantitative point of view, local impact, with low reception): value, 2;
– Significant impact (the impact on the wider environment, reception is high): value, 3;
– Very significant impact (reception is high to very high): value, 4.
Localization of proposed wind parks was incorporated to the map of current landscape structure by using the transposition methodology there through was reached illustration of their localization in cadastral areas. Impacts were different especially in their significance in which they are affecting landscape character. Actually, they were evaluated separately with the following results: Horka pri Poprade, 1; Svabovce I, 3; Svabovce II, 2; and Straze pod Tatrami, —1. But you should realize that all four wind parks are proposed in three neighboring cadastral areas, and this is why a joint map of landscape structure and proposed wind park localization was created for all three cadastral areas. We came to the logical conclusion that this impact is multiplied so that it is necessary to evaluate cumulative effects. The impact of all wind parks on the landscape character is insignificant, but the cumulative impact has a final value of 3, a significant impact.
In the conditions of the Slovak Republic, in Environmental Impact Assessment a specific evaluation methodology aimed at ecological landscape stability is used. By evaluation of impacts on ecological landscape stability, we came to the conclusion that it is necessary to evaluate it as one unit. Because this methodology is not commonly known, we describe it next.