Now also official complaint against Turow to the EU Commission from Germany
Saxony. 21.01.2021 – Today, governing officials and citizens of the city of Zittau, as well as members of the Saxon State Parliament and the District of Görlitz, filed an official complaint about the Polish open pit mine in Turów with the EU Commission. The content of the complaint is the sinking of the city of Zittau due to the pumping of groundwater and further feared damage to the region. This was preceded in March 2020 by a complaint from the Czech region of Liberec.
Poland systematically violates EU law
With the complaint now filed from Saxony, the list of accusations becomes longer.
Affected people from the city of Zittau no longer want to accept that their objections were ignored by the Polish side during the environmental impact assessment. They are provisionally repairing the walls of their houses and are afraid of a loss of stability and value.
In addition, the environmental impact assessment did not take into account the effects of climate change in any form. The associated further lowering of the groundwater level will also become a problem for agriculture in the region in the coming decades. The renaturation of the open pit mine after shutdown was also not considered in the environmental impact assessment. In the case of Turów, Polish law simply excluded these problems by granting a six-year special permit. No public participation was allowed in the process. There is no possibility of appeal. This type of special permit was equally granted for three other Polish open pit mines. Therefore, the systematic violation of EU directives established in Polish law is a central element of the complaint. Anna Meres, coal campaigner from Greenpeace Poland says: „Poland’s dependence on coal isolates us in the international arena and becomes the axis of contention between Poland and its neighbors. The way out of this conflict is to prepare as soon as possible a just transition plan for the Turów region and to set 2030 as a date for coal phase out in Poland.“
Czech Republic considers legal action
In the Czech region of Liberec, the drinking water supply for thousands of people is also at risk. The Czech Republic is currently considering taking Poland to the European Court of Justice. In December, the EU Commission already confirmed that the approval of the open pit mine violated several European directives: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2452. They will now have to examine the further allegations from Sachen. It is becoming increasingly clear that Poland must take responsibility for these neighborly differences in the border triangle.
– A European coal phase-out by 2030 at the latest.
– The enforcement of EU law for the Turow open pit mine.