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13 Oct 2020, 13:58
Alex Dziadosz

Polish coal mine could pollute German water supply - Greenpeace

Clean Energy Wire

The Polish state-owned PGE energy company’s plans to expand the Turów opencast mine threaten to pollute German water supplies, the advocacy group Greenpeace said in a statement. The statement quoted a geologist, Ralf Krupp, as saying that the expanded opencast mine would lower the region’s deep aquifer by 20 metres and that acid mine water could regularly pollute the Neisse and Oder rivers that form the border between the two countries and lead to “significantly increased sulphate concentrations.” The mayor of the town of Zittau in Saxony on the Polish border, Thomas Zenker, said that Saxony’s government should examine the risks of the mine and take legal action if necessary.

Protests were held at the mine in August. The PGE-owned site is located at the meeting point of Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. In May, it was granted a six-year extension by the government—but the decision is considered illegal by some European politicians because no environmental impact assessments were carried out. The European Commission says the decision also violates its Water Framework Directive, as it affects water supplies in the nearby Czech city of Liberec.

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