PRAGUE – Illegal coal mining lawsuit against Poland

The Czech parliament’s European Affairs and Environment Committees both called on the government to prepare a legal analysis for a possible lawsuit against Poland for extending its coal mining licence for the Turów coal mine, which happens to be close to the Czech border.

The mining license for the Turów coal mine expired on 30 April but the Polish authorities decided to extend it until 2026, despite the Czech government officially opposing the extension and warning Poland of mining’s negative impact on drinking water supplies in the Liberec region bordering Poland.

Currently, the country faces the worst drought in 500 years and Environmental Minister Richard Brabec had previously admitted that the affected region could have “no water in the wells”.  

“According to our analyses, the mining that will follow after 30 April is illegal as the process of prolongation of mining contains a number of violations and does not comply with both Polish and EU law,” said Petra Urbanová, a lawyer at Frank Bold, a legal company which helps the Liberec region in the Turów case.

The Liberec region, green NGOs and several MEPs have already asked European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius for help but to no avail.

Meanwhile, the affected region says it is losing its drinking water day by day.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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