Czech gov’t agrees to withdraw lawsuit over lignite mine: Polish PM

The Czech government has agreed to withdraw a motion it filed with Europe’s top court that Poland should halt a major lignite mine near the Czech border, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.

The Turów power plant and open-pit brown coal mine.

The Turów power plant and open-pit brown coal mine.Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński

On Friday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said Poland should immediately suspend lignite extraction at the Turów brown coal mine in the southwest of the country, pending a final ruling.

The court said that mining was likely to have a negative impact on groundwater levels in the neighbouring Czech Republic.

But on Tuesday, Morawiecki said that both sides were nearing an agreement on the issue.

“Given the tightening of cross-border cooperation with the Czech Republic, it seems that we are already very close to an agreement,” he was quoted as saying by Polish state news agency PAP after an EU summit in Brussels.

“As a result of this agreement, the Czech Republic agreed to withdraw its lawsuit to the CJEU.”

Morawiecki also said that the two governments „have agreed to set up an expert committee to investigate environmental issues related to the open pit.”

According to PAP, the Czech Republic had complained that the mine’s operations were environmentally damaging to areas on the Czech side of the border.

Morawiecki added that Poland’s state energy giant PGE, which runs the Turów mine, would invest to reduce the outflow of groundwater caused by its operations, as well as construct embankments to help contain dust.

The Turów power plant, supplied with lignite from the nearby mine, provides between 4 and 7 percent of Poland’s power output.

The mine’s license was due to expire last year in April, but in March the Polish government extended it until 2026.


Source: PAP

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