Polish Briefing 22 January, 2021 9:30 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: PGE GiEK argues the expansion of the Turów mine was agreed with Germany


What goes on in Poland on the 22nd of January.

PGE GiEK argues the expansion of the Turów mine was agreed with Germany

The protection measures applied in the Turów mine are effective, and further extraction was also agreed with the German side – this is how PGE GiEK responds to the complaint of the German city of Zittau to the European Commission. The city filed a complaint against the expansion of the Turów opencast mine.

On Thursday, the mayor of the Saxon city of Zittau, Thomas Zenker, announced that the city had filed a complaint with the European Commission about the expansion of the nearby Turów open pit. As he stated, “we felt compelled to do so because we were not treated properly in the course of the environmental acceptability check procedure so far.” According to Zenker, Zittau experiences various nuisances due to the operation of the opencast mine, including in the form of dust pollution, noise, problems with groundwater and a decrease in the quality of the waters of the Lusatian Neisse river. – We are committed to a legal re-examination of the permit to extend the open pit – added the mayor.

The lignite mine and the Turów power plant are owned by PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna (GiEK). In 2020, the Minister of Climate extended the license for the extraction of lignite from the open pit for six years, until 2026. As the company pointed out in the information provided to PAP, during the procedure of obtaining the environmental decision, as part of applying for the license extension, public consultations were held on an unprecedented scale, in which German communities also actively participated. Cross-border consultations with the German side lasted five years and ended with the signing by the parties of the final memorandum of understanding that the mine had completed – emphasized the company, adding that on this basis the Regional Director for Environmental Protection issued an environmental decision in January 2020 for the continuation of exploitation of the Turów deposit until 2044. According to the information provided by PGE GiEK, during the consultations, the attention of the German side was focused on the level of noise emissions, dust and subsidence.