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Turów mine – decision of the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw

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The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw decided that in the case of the Turów mine there is a risk of causing significant damage to the environment and suspended the implementation of the environmental decision, according to the press release of environmental organizations. The Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moscow stated that “there will be no consent of the Polish government to stop mining”.

“A complaint against the environmental decision was filed in autumn 2022 by, among others, the Frank Bold Foundation, Greenpeace and the EKO-UNIA Ecological Association. Anna Moscow already in February 2023, on its basis, it issued an extension of the concession for coal mining in Turów.

– The court suspended the execution of the environmental decision for lignite mining in Turów until its substantive consideration, explaining that there is a risk of causing significant damage to the environment. This decision means that, according to the court, it cannot be ruled out that the environmental decision for Turów will be considered defective in the future, said Agnieszka Stupkiewicz, a legal adviser from Frank Bold, quoted in the press release.

Ecologists pointed out that the decision of the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw is not legally binding and it is possible to lodge a complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court.

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The government’s reaction to the decision of the Provincial Administrative Court

“The operation of the complex in Turów is to ensure the energy security of Poland and the region for the coming years. There will be no consent of the Polish government to stop mining! We will not allow the loss of thousands of jobs for the inhabitants of the region! Mining will be carried out as long as it is possible and necessary” – she wrote in Anna Moscow, the head of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, tweeted on Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that “The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw pursues foreign interests.” “At the request of Die Grosse Kreisstadt Zittau, the Czech and German branches of Greenpeace and the Frank Bold Foundation, the judges demand the closure of the Turów mine. We will not allow it! We will protect 60,000 jobs” – he noted.

PGE on the decision of the Provincial Administrative Court

In a statement, PGE emphasized that the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw “suspended the execution of the decision on environmental conditions issued by GDOŚ in September 2022 in gross violation of the law”. “The environmental decision was appealed by green activists from German and the Czech Republic,” it was noted.

As reported, the court in the reasons for the decision did not refer to the position of PGE GiEK, did not make a substantive assessment of the position of the applicants, relying entirely on their claims, thus failing to analyze and verify the existence of grounds for suspending the decision’s enforceability.

“The operation of the Turów Mine until 2044 is crucial from the point of view of Poland’s energy security. We will use all legal means available to us in the appeal proceedings before the Supreme Administrative Court. We will not allow Turów to be closed. Neither Polish nor European courts are there to close legally operating enterprise” – emphasized Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of PGE, quoted in the statement.

The company added that Turów mine currently conducts mining operations on the basis of a concession issued in 1994, amended in March 2020 in terms of extending its validity until 2026. “Further operation of the Turów Mine is not at risk” – was assured.

Main photo source: DarSzach/Shutterstock



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