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Lesser Poland. The draft mitigating the anti-smog resolution was rejected

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No one supported the idea of ​​bringing back “cinderella” to Krakow. The Sejmik of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship rejected a civic resolution, which in practice dismantled the regulations won several years ago, thanks to which the air over Krakow has significantly improved.

Against the adoption of the resolution voted 20 councilors, both those from PO and from PIS. Two councilors abstained from voting, the rest did not vote. No one supported the resolution.

The project submitted by the Otwarta Wieliczka association assumed extending the deadline for replacing boilers and allowing the use of other types of fuel. It provided for the extension of the entry into force of the ban on the use of classless boilers until January 1, 2026 (in the anti-smog resolution for Małopolska) and for allowing the use of fuels containing biomass with a moisture content in the working state below 20%. (in the anti-smog resolution for Krakow). Its authors justified the proposed changes with high energy costs. The changes were opposed by the Krakow Smog Alarm. The president of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, also called for the resolution to be rejected.

Read also: Residents are complaining to the court about the changes in the anti-smog resolution. “We have been fighting for breath for eight years”

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President’s appeal

Majchrowski, in a letter addressed to the chairman and councilors of the provincial assembly, appealed for not supporting this project.

“The decisions made by your councilors, which would waste years of joint work to improve air quality, both in Krakow and in Małopolska, will have negative consequences for the health of residents. That is why I am appealing to you not for the first time not to support such projects or initiatives” – we read in the letter of the president addressed to the chairman and councilors of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Sejmik.

Read also: Clean Transport Zone in Krakow. Resolution passed, ‘thousands of families will have to replace cars’

The Office argued that the city had been fighting to improve air quality for over a dozen years, replacing non-ecological heat sources and conducting information campaigns, which, as it states, led to an improvement in air quality, and the concentrations of substances recorded by monitoring stations in Krakow are successively lowering.

“Our goal is to strive for the complete elimination of low emissions, and not to enable or return to the idea of ​​burning wood and thus generate a whole range of harmful substances into the air” – Majchrowski noted in the letter.

Krakow’s Smog Alert: we don’t want the “cinderellas” to return

The changes were also opposed by the Krakow Smog Alarm. – Let’s be clear – the adoption of this legislative initiative means dismantling the anti-smog resolution for Krakow and allowing the use of boilers, furnaces and other installations in the city that emit huge amounts of pollution, the so-called cinderellas. They were responsible for the terrible air quality in the city in recent decades – he emphasized before the vote Andrzej Guła, president of the Krakow Smog Alarm. – Allowing them to return to Krakow after spending hundreds of millions of zlotys of public money on the installation of new heating systems, after the residents and authorities of Krakow made a huge effort to make the air we breathe better, would be simply absurd. We can see that the anti-smog resolution works and brings results – the air in Krakow is much better. There is no room for change here, he added.

Smog in KrakowAgnes Kantaruk / Shutterstock

In Cracow the ban on smoking coal and other solid fuels came into force on September 1, 2019. According to the city authorities, the capital of Małopolska is a leader in the fight for clean air, but the effect achieved over many years is being undermined by the continued operation of classless coal boilers in neighboring municipalities.

SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: Krakow at war with smog. The first verdict after the ban was introduced

Voivodship councilors have already eased anti-smog regulations once. In September last year, they decided to postpone the ban on the use of classless stoves from January 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. Other provisions of the 2017 resolution remained unchanged – only class 5 ecological boilers are to be installed in newly built houses. By the end of 2026, residents are obliged to replace class 3 and 4 furnaces. The councilors of Małopolska who introduced the changes emphasized that they acted in accordance with the will of residents signaling that for economic reasons they were unable to replace furnaces on time.

In March 2023, Kraków filed a complaint with the Voivodship Administrative Court against the amendment of the anti-smog resolution, which, according to the city, should be eliminated from the legal order by declaring it invalid in its entirety. After the complaint was rejected by the Provincial Administrative Court, the city filed a cassation appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court on August 16.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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