Czech Republic opposes Polish coalmine expansion near border

Czech Ministry of the Environment issued an opinion here on Friday, opposing the expansion of Polish coalmine Turow near the Czech-Polish border, on concerns about possible environmental damages.

The opinion was issued in cooperation with the northern Czech’s Liberec Region, which would be affected by the expansion, and the Czech Geological Survey.

The Czech Republic disagrees with the implementation of the project ‘Continuation of brownfield mining coal’, the opinion read.

If, however, the Polish side decides to expand mining, the Czech Republic requires, for example, financial compensation for potential damage and construction of a wall preventing groundwater from flowing away, according to local media reports. It also demands long-term monitoring of groundwater and noise levels and alternative supplying of the afflicted municipalities with drinking water if the mining activities lead to loss of groundwater.

The Polish mine Turow supplies coal to the neighboring Turow power plant, which generates 8 percent of Poland’s energy supplies.

The PGE Group, which owns the mine and the power plant, plans to mine there by 2044. According to plan, the mine would expand to 30 square kilometers and the mining could reach a depth of 330 meters below the level of the surrounding terrain.