Matt Atlas

EU Calls On Poland To Close Coal Mine

According to the Polish radio station RMF FM, the European Commission once again told Poland that it must stop mining in the Turów lignite mine near the Czech border. Warsaw was ordered by the EU Court of Justice last Friday. The EC also intends to review the planned mine agreement between Poland and the Czech Republic. He will want to find out whether the agreement solves the problems that he blamed on Poland last December, ie before Prague turned to the EU court. The Czech authorities did so, among other things, because the expansion of mining in the mine will endanger the drinking water supply in the Liberec region.

In a statement sent to RMF FM, the European Commission pointed out that the dispute over the Turów mine before the Court of Justice of the EU is still open because Prague has not withdrawn its lawsuit. “In this context, the Polish authorities must submit to a preliminary injunction to a court that ordered Poland to immediately stop lignite mining in Turów,” the EU executive said.

Polish politicians, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, have repeatedly stated in recent days that they do not intend to stop coal mining.

The Czechia and Poland are negotiating a bilateral agreement on the Turów mine. The European Commission wants to review its content to see “whether further action will be needed if it violates EU environmental rules”.

Last December, the EC came to the conclusion that Poland was incorrectly assessing the impact of the mine on the environment and had insufficiently informed neighboring states about its intentions. RMF FM states that if Brussels finds out that the Polish-Czech treaty will not lead to Poland fully incorporating EU environmental regulations into its laws, it can take further action against it or bring an action against it before the EU Court of Justice.

“This is a signal from the EC that Turów is not an exclusively Polish-Czech problem, and that if the Czechia withdraws the lawsuit, the mine problem may not be solved,” RMF FM writes on its website.

The Polish Turów mine supplies coal mainly to the neighboring power plant, and the PGE group, which owns the mine and the power plant, wants to mine there by 2044. The mine should expand to 30 square kilometers and the Poles plan to mine to a depth of 330 meters. The planned expansion is mainly opposed by the inhabitants of the border areas of the Liberec Region. People are afraid of increased noise and dust and especially water loss.