The development will not affect protected areas or areas proposed to be protected. Both the landscape and the vegetation in large parts of the development area are characterised by human activity. Nor will the development reduce the scope of the untouched natural areas to any significant degree.
Game species on the Norwegian Red List, i.e. the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre’s list of endangered or rare plant and animal species, will not be affected to any degree. It will only have relatively small consequences for fish and benthos. The degree of impact on Hjartdøla river is assessed as medium, even though there are red-listed species such as freshwater pearl mussels and eel. For Skogsåa river, the degree of impact is determined as low, and for Heddøla river as low to medium negative.
Development of the Sauland Power Plant will have a negative impact on some red-listed plants. Changes are expected in the vegetation found in some endangered habitat types as a result of reduced water flow.
The development’s overall degree of impact on the natural environment is assessed as medium negative. An assessment of the overall degree of impact is based on the assessments carried out in three technical reports: fish and benthos, game, and vegetation.