03 February 2023

A year after a worthless deal, PGE delivers nothing for Turów locals

WARSAW, 3 February 2023 – Despite the Polish and Czech governments shaking hands in early 2022 on a 45 million euro deal to end their Turów coal mine dispute, one year later not a single piece of the water protection system in the agreement has been installed. The mine continues to operate without a proper licence, draining water supplies and damaging nearby houses. 

The PGE-operated mine is wedged between communities in Czechia, Germany and Poland, and has already caused water levels in the region to fall more than twice the amount that its flawed Environmental Impact Assessment says they will by 2044 [1]. People living on the Czech side of the border are angry that the agreement hasn’t resulted in any tangible improvements in the region, and that the Czech government continues to refuse to divulge the full details of the deal.

“The Polish government agreed to install a water protection system at Turów as part of its deal with Czechia, despite the fact that the system is widely understood not to be up to the task. But PGE hasn’t even bothered implementing that,” said Milan Starec, resident of Uhelná and a local activist. “Everyday, our property loses further value because of PGE’s illegal operations. Where is the compensation for locals like us who suffer from it? And why are the institutions of the EU not upholding EU law?”.

“PGE is illegally depleting people’s water supplies, and damaging their homes, all in the name of profit. The law says precisely what coal operators like PGE can and can’t do. So why is it that between them, neither the courts, national governments and the European Union are able to enforce the law at Turow?”, said Petra Kalenská, lawyer at Frank Bold.

ENDS

Contacts:
Michał Zabłocki, Communications and Campaigns Consultant, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +48 500 126 685 (English, Polish)
Petra Kalenská, Lawyer, Frank Bold Society
[email protected], +420 771 230 315 (English, Czech)
Milan Starec, Sousedský spolek Uhelná (local association in Uhelná), Spokesperson
[email protected], +420 602 462 432 (English, Czech)

Notes:

  1. More on Turów’s flawed Environmental Impact Assessment: https://beyond-coal.eu/2022/10/10/flawed-Turów-coal-mine-assessment-gets-green-light/
  2. Details of the deal to end the Czech lawsuit against Poland at the CJEU: https://beyond-coal.eu/2022/02/03/czechia-poland-Turów-coal-mine-deal-leaves-czech-locals-thirsty-for-justice/
  3. Czech activists held a photography exhibition in the town of Liberec, close to PGE’s Turów mine, to offer an insight into what it is like to live in close proximity to the open-cast mine. 

About: 
Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to ensure a just transition to a fossil-free, fully renewables-based European energy sector. This means exiting coal entirely by 2030 at the latest, and fossil gas by 2035 in the power sector. This independent campaign is committed to transforming the European energy system so that it protects people, nature and our global climate: www.beyond-coal.eu

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