Polish coal mine extension ‘unlawful’, claim Czech citizens

The Polish climate ministry has been accused of a “violation of EU law” by environmental groups and the government of Czechia after a licence was granted to extend operations at a controversial coal mine near the border of the two countries which local people say will endanger water supplies.

The decision enables operations to continue at the Turów lignite mine in Lower Silesia, Poland, near the borders with Germany and Czechia, for a further 6 years. 

NGOs and the Czech government said the decision breaches EU laws including the Water Framework Directive, the Liability Directive and environmental impact assessment rules.

“We believe that the next step for the EU commission should be to set off infringement procedure for submission to the European Court of Justice,” Petra Urbanová, a lawyer at the Frank Bold Society environmental law service, which  represents the Czech district close to the project site, told ENDS. “If the directives would be complied with, we believe it would not be possible to approve this project,” she added.

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