Poland Extends Operation of Turow Lignite Mine Until 2044
Environmental organisations have criticised the Polish decision to extend the mining, saying it arises from an incorrect environmental impact assessment. Photo credit: Anna Uciechowska (CC BY-SA 3.0).
Prague, Feb 28 (CTK) – Poland has authorised the extension of mining at the Turow lignite mine, located next to the Czech and German borders, until 2044, the Czech Environment Ministry confirmed to CTK today.
Environmental organisations have criticised the Polish decision to extend the mining, saying it arises from an incorrect environmental impact assessment in the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.
“According to our information, Poland has authorised the extension of mining until 2044, with a decision by its climate and environment minister from 17 February,” Environment Ministry spokeswoman Lucie Jesatkova told journalists yesterday.
“Environmental NGOs have been informed that they can file an official complaint about the decision,” she added.
Representatives of the Liberec Region, which adjoins the Turow mine, have told CTK that they do not yet have any information on the extension decision.
Environmental organisations said in a joint statement that the Polish decision was based on an incorrect environmental impact assessment.
They say Poland is arguing on the basis of creating jobs and improvement in macroeconomic indicators, assessing the influence of the mine on outflow of water from the Czech Republic as negligible.
However, ecologists say the municipalities on the Czech side of the border are losing groundwater due to the proximity of the mine.
“With the continued mining, Poland is destroying the environment, violating European law,” said Nikol Krejcova from Czech Greenpeace. “The pact with the Czech Republic is covering up this behaviour. The Czech government has sold the interests of its citizens and environment for CZK 1 billion.”
“Water keeps disappearing from the Czech territory. Unfortunately, we do not know how much because the government keeps the data on underground water secret. We hope that based on our complaint, the European Commission will act and stand up on behalf of not only the environment, but also of the local population,” Krejcova said.
Last February, the prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Poland signed a bilateral agreement on the impact of the mining in Turow, including EUR 45 million in compensation for the damage caused and a five-year supervision conducted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The Czech Republic then withdrew the lawsuit it had filed with the CJEU.