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Parliamentary questions
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31 January 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tomáš Zdechovský
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Infringement of EU environmental law by Poland

The Turów coal mine is located on the Czech-Polish-German border. Mining was set to come to an end by 30 April 2020. However, the mine operator PGE GIEK S.A. has decided to extend production until 2044, covering 30 km2 and going 330 metres below ground level. Mining activity will have a demonstrably negative impact on the source of drinking water for approximately 30 000 inhabitants in the Czech Republic. In 2019, a transboundary impact assessment was conducted in accordance with the ESPOO Convention, in which the Czech Republic issued a negative opinion regarding the impact of continued mining at the Turów Mine. Nevertheless, in January 2020, the Regional Director of Nature Conservation in Wrocław issued a decision on environmental conditions for the project to continue mining the Turów coal deposit in which he gave his approval for the continuation of mining. In relation to EU law, there has been a violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, namely Articles 16, 37 and 41, a violation of Article 191 TFEU, a violation of the principle of sincere cooperation enshrined in the TEU, a failure to respect Directive 92/43/EEC on the protection of animals and plants, and a violation of Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.

Given this action, the disregarding of the Czech Republic’s position and the environmental impact assessment, and the violation of EU law, is the Commission monitoring this issue, and will it take active steps in this matter?

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