Last week, representatives of the German Saxony group submitted an official complaint to the European Commission regarding the activity of the Polish open pit mine in Turów. This is the third turn-based issue that is pending at European level. The earlier ones come from the Liberec region in the Czech Republic and the authorities of the Czech Republic. The latter may soon end at European Court of Justice. However, serious accusations from residents of two neighbouring countries do not seem to affect PGE, which plans to apply for a concession for Turów until 2044.
1.The case is gaining international attention
Due to the complaint submitted to the European Court Commision by the inhabitants of Zittau, the problem of controversial Turów open pit mine is again gaining internatioanl publicity. You could read read about the negative impact of Turów on German Zittau in the high-circulation German weekly Tagesspiegel.
The mayor of Zittau Thomas Zenkler said in an interview with the daily that the city had been mistreated in the environemntal impact assessment consultation.
We have the impression that the Polish authorities and sponsors of the project are deliberately are not taking European law seriously.
The German press emphasized that the Polish open pit mine directly reduces the level of groundwater in Saxony, which leads among other things to soil subsidance and damage to buildings, as well as its negative impact on the environment and possible problems for regional agriculture.
Excessive sultate concentrations in Nysa are also in concern. The river borders the city marks the border between Germany and Poland.
Higher conconcentrations were also found in the case of cadmium, uranium, nickel, substances harmful for to the environment.
The pollutants era released into the area in a verifiable manner by developing the open pit area, Energie Zukunft magazine reported.
The Czech press also wrote about the new - turn based complaint. It was emphasized that this was another problem for the Polish side in the dispute over the open pit.
It was emphasized that this was another problem for the Polish side in the dispute over the open pit. It has been unclear what the impact of mining will have an Germany because the Polish EIA documentation has serious shortcomings and the extensive expert opinion was proposed only last autumn.
Following the disturbing conclusions of this report, local authority representatives on the German side are now turning to the European Commission with their own complaint commented on the case with Rita Urbanova, a lawyer from the Frank Bold organization on the news portal Novinky.cz
Even the European edition of the American portal Politico wrote about the German lawsuit. It quoted, inter alia Anna Meres from Greenpeace Poland and its neighbours.
The way out of this conflict is to prepare a fair transformation plan for the region of rounds as soon as possible and to set 2030 at the date of withdrawal of coal from Poland.
2. PGE goes constipated
Polish media also commented on the matter. Among others the statement of Radosław Gawlik, the president of the ecological association eco-union was quoted : from the very beginning, the whole process lacks openess and clear communiacation.
The Polish governement is shrinking responsibility not only for the country's energy sector but also for the inhabitants of coal regions. The complex region is not subject to the EU Just Transition Fund. This causes serious conflicts but also exposes residents to loss of funds.
The words of Kuba Gogolewski from the foundation „Rozwój tak-odkrywki nie” were also quoted.
PGE still denies the destructive effect of the open pit mine on groundwater both on the German and Czech side, developing allegations made by the Czech government. While PGE and the Polish goverment controlling the company, they will not change their attitude, it will be difficult to avoid an escalation of the consensus. There will be a dispute before the European Court of Justice. It is worth emphasizing these problems are a problem of PZU, which insures power plants and coal mines in his round.
It did not take long for PGE to respond and soon the company's sponsored text's appeared in the media in which it was emphasized that during the procedure of obtaining environemntal decision, as part of applying for an extension of the license lignite mining in the Turów mine, consultations took place an unpreceed scale, in which German society also actively participated.
PGE apparently forgot that on March 2020, the city of Zittau appealed against the decision of the regional director of environemntal protection in Wrocław regarding the EIA procedure for Turów. It noted inter alia that the process was not fully transparent as the essential parts of the EIA that are necessary for the cross - border impact assesment have not been translated into German at all.
The participants of the procedure for example the city of Zittau, alos did not receive the necessary informationon all questionable questions.
3. Another PGE surprises
The statement that public consultations on an unpresented scale were held prior to obtaining the concession for the turn-based, is not one surprise from Polska Grupa Energetyczna while oppposition to the open pit mine continues. PGE continues to plan to extend the operation of the complex until 2044.
On January 19, 2021 an announcement was published in the public information bulletin of the Ministry of Environment and Climate in which was announced that conventional energy proceedings were initiated to amend concession no 65/94 for the extraction of lignite and accompanying minerals from Turów deposit, located in the town and commune of Bogatynia, Zgorzelec voivodeship, Dolnośląskie province the proceedings are to last until April 30, 2021.
The announcement did not explain whether the proceedings related to the license application until 2044, which PGE has been talking about for a long time.
It seems that PGE and the Ministry of Climate and the Environment have decide not to inform public, the anxious residents of the Tripont or the regional authirities and local governemnts about the purpose of the meeting that has just started.