The verdict in the Turów case was passed. Trade unionists from “Solidarity” are looking for salvation for the mine

Luc Williams

Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw repealed on Wednesday environmental decision General Director for Environmental Protection regarding continuation coal mining In Turów mine. The judgment is invalid. In his justification, Provincial Administrative Court judge Jarosław Łuczaj emphasized that the decision “does not result in the suspension of operation or even the closure of the Turów mine.” As the judge said, “the decision on the environmental conditions for the implementation of a given project is one of the requirements for issuing further administrative decisions necessary in the investment process.”

In two years, without a new license

The head of NSZZ “Solidarność” in KWB Turów, Wojciech Ilnicki, commenting for PAP Provincial Administrative Court ruling he pointed out that the court's decision does not suspend mining in the Turów mine until 2026. “But in 2026, if we do not have new concession, this ruling suspends mining. We will not obtain a new license in such a short time – it is impossible, taking into account the entire procedure, incl cross-border procedure. So this decision clearly says that after 2026, Turów will be closed” – said the trade unionist.

Germany returns to coal

Ilnicki said this was very bad news for employees and residents Bogatynia area. “It is also bad news for other people in our country, because the closure of the mine means increase in electricity prices. After closure, Turowa Polska will be buy +very ecological+ electricity from Germany – of these new two brown coal mines and power plantthat they build,” he said.

Appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court

The trade unionist hopes that PGE GiEK and GDOŚ will appeal against the non-final decision of the Provincial Administrative Court to Supreme Administrative Court.

Agreement with the Czech Republic

The Provincial Administrative Court indicated that the only reason for repealing the environmental decision were the allegations relating to agreements between the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic on cooperation in addressing the effects of mine operation. The contract was signed on February 3, 2022.

“Such an agreement is important for the acts of applying the law, and such an act of applying the law is undoubtedly the decision on the environmental conditions for the implementation of the project. (…) Meanwhile, in the contested decision, the authority explicitly stated that it is not important for the decision in this case. In the opinion court, such a position is wrong,” concluded judge Łuczaj.

Ecologists' complaint

The case has been initiated complaints from environmentalists and German local government officials from border areas regarding the environmental decision of the General Director for Environmental Protection of September 30, 2022 relating to the “Continuation of exploitation of the Turów lignite depositimplemented in the Bogatynia commune.

Appealed to court decision of the General Directorate for Environmental Protection partially repealed and partially upheld the earlier environmental decision on this matter issued by the Regional Director for Environmental Protection in Wrocław. In February 2023, based on the decision of GDOŚ from autumn 2022, the Minister of Climate and Environment extended the concession for Turów beyond 2026 – until 2044.

author: Piotr Doczekalski


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