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17 lutego 2021
#stopturow
 

Enough with PGE arrogance

Saxony and Liberec region inhabitants are fed up with PGE arrogance and its ignoring another complaints to the European Commission. The company doesn’t mind EC opinion regarding the procedure for mining license extension for Turów nor Community's climate policy. It is ignoring more and more numerous research and studies clearly showing the negative impact of the mine on water and climate. Yet again it quietly started applying for the mining license, excluding the parties involved from dialogue. The region's inhabitants, however, seem to be determined to fight the unfair company. 

1. Czechs are calling on it government to sue

PGE is applying for a license extension until 2044. Everything, just as a year ago, is happening silently, behind the public’s and the most involved parties’ back. The company started the license seeking process at the same time when the EC was handling the Czech complaint on the mine’s operations. What is more, it's not informing the public nor the neighbouring states about its actions, even though the EC stressed that, during the previous license seeking procedure for Turów, “Polish authorities incorrectly applied the provisions of the Directive on public access to environmental information, with regards to informing the public and member states taking part in the trans-border consultations.

The Czechs are fed up with the arrogance of the company and started collecting signatures under the petition to their government to sue Poland to the European Court of Justice. For the record, after the reasoned opinion by the European Commission regarding Turów, Czech government may sue Poland to the European Court of Justice for failure of a Member State to fulfill its obligations. Given that the Polish side isn't doing anything to settle the dispute amicably, certainly it will come to a lawsuit. What may precipitate it is the determination of the Liberec region inhabitants and environmentalists, who are signing the petition. https://www.spoluproklima.cz/stopturow/

2. Geologists confirm the impact of Turów on groundwater

A Czech daily, Aktuálne, published an interview with the president of Czech Geological Society. In the interview, Zdeněk Venera answers questions about the impact of the opencast on the water. He notices a decrease in the groundwater level in Czechia, so feared by the population of Liberec region. He stresses that “in the vicinity of the Turów mine there are several different collectors in the Czech territory (aquifers) [...]. In the deeper ones, where rain and snow precipitation have only a negligible effect, in 2020 we recorded a drop in the groundwater level of up to eight meters. Overall, from the mid-1980s until 2019, water fell by 60 meters.

As for deeper collectors, there is a decrease in groundwater caused only by the activity of the Turów mine” - stresses Venera. Climate change and precipitation reduction, indicated as the main sources of water scarcity near the Czech border in the study by the Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management [2] are significant only with regards to the upper collectors. 

The geologist also referred to the issue of the efficacy of the underground wall, which, according to PGE, is preventing the potential flow from the Czech village Uhelna water source to the mine. He stresses that, in spite of the fact that, by October last year, 70% of the wall was finished, the levels in the deeper collectors were still falling. Therefore, it is doubtful whether the wall will be effective, but as Venera emphasized, an unequivocal response may only be given when the works have been finalized. He also stresses that it is still unknown how the process of reclamation will look like after the mining will have ended.

Sources:

  1. https://zpravy.aktualne.cz/ekonomika/voda-z-hlubin-u-dolu-turow-mizi-jednoznacne-kvuli-polske-tez/r~c14608da618011ebb115ac1f6b220ee8/?fbclid=IwAR2qZRFuX1Bhg4ad9yEh9UcYmYpcNvxnn5CW2EkgP8U3-Zh5cio-NUvdTQM 
  2. https://pgegiek.pl/aktualnosci/niezalezna-opinia-imigw-pib-kopalnia-turow-ma-znikomy-wplyw-na-warunki-hydrologiczne-po-stronie-czeskiej-translation-en

3. The Parliament of Saxony is discussing Turów

The issue of Turów stirs the population and local authorities of our German neighbour as well. On February, 4th, in the Saxon state parliament, the controversial mine expansion and the dangers to the whole region near the border were officially discussed for the first time. The Green Party, together with the Left Party, demanded that Saxony and German federal government take more decisive action against further open-pit mine expansion.

Daniel Gerber, Green Party MP, one of the movers of the complaint presented to the European Commission in January 2021, emphasized that studies confirm the impact of Turów on groundwater decrease, contamination of Nysa Łużycka with acid mine drainage and ground subsidence in Zittau. He also mentioned the research of Dr Kraśnicki, regarding the influence of Turów mine expansion on the water quality [2], study by a German scientist, dr Krupp [3] regarding ground subsidence in Zittau and analysis of the impact of Turów mine and power plant expansion on Polish commitment to climate protection by prof. Karaczun and dr Kassenberg[4].

Gerber pointed out that PGE doesn't treat German and Czech population seriously: “It has now come out that PGE on November 17, 2020 officially requested the extension until 2044. Again secretly. They do not communicate about it publicly or with the governments concerned, and they did it a short time after talks took place between Poland, the Czech Republic and the Commission about the possible agreement after the official complaint. Here it becomes more than clear with what audacity PGE is going ahead. It is time that the EU as guardian of the treaties shows this climate protection lobby the limits. The breach of EU law has already been confirmed by the European Commission. We have it in black and white.”

Sources:

  1. https://www.saechsische.de/wirtschaft/umwelt/turow-grube-kraftwerk-debatte-saechsischer-landtag-zittau-grundwasser-5371734-plus.html 
  2. https://docplayer.pl/200139063-Przewidywany-wplyw-rozbudowy-odkrywki-turow-na-jakosc-i-zasoby-wod-podziemnych-i-powierzchniowych-dr-sylwester-krasnicki.html
  3. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-poland-stateless/062974b1-turow_one_pager_summary_krupp_eng.pdf 
  4. https://rozwojtak-odkrywkinie.pl/publikacje?download=17:analiza-wplywu-rozbudowy-kopalni-i-elektrowni-w-turowie-na-polskie-zobowia-zania-w-zakresie-ochrony-klimatu 
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