Polish, Czech Leaders Meet to Resolve Issues Over Coal Mine
The Czech government said the brown coal mine in Turow, a Polish town near the Czech and German borders, is draining groundwater from Czech communities and causing other environmental harm to Czech citizens. It took the case to the top European Union court, which last week ordered Poland to halt coal extraction at the site. But Poland has so far defied the court’s order, saying it cannot close the mine because doing so would lead to power cuts for millions of people and eliminate thousands of jobs. The mine directly fuels a power plant that produces up to 7% of Poland’s energy.
The Polish government recently extended the license for extraction of coal at Turow until 2044. The Czechs said Poland did this without consulting them, something the Polish government denies. Polish and Czech leaders and other officials were holding talks on the issue during an EU summit in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday and elsewhere.
They suggested an agreement could be reached soon that would focus on addressing Prague’s concerns that the Turow lignite mine was draining groundwater from Czech territory. On that basis, Prague was expected to withdraw its complaint with the EU court.