At the turn of February and March, Czechia will file a lawsuit against Poland over the expansion of the Turów lignite mine.
The reason for the lawsuit before the Court of Justice of the EU is mainly the negative impact of mining on the border regions of Hrádek and Frýdlant, where groundwater is declining. The dispute may be settled by agreement of both parties until the judgment is passed - which may happen in about a year at the earliest.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD), the Czech Republic has tried for a long time to resolve the dispute without a court - last time ten days ago in Warsaw. Because the state fears the final verdict might take a while, it also filed a motion for interim measures. If granted by the court, the mining in Turów would have to stop until the verdict is given.
The Polish Turów mine supplies coal mainly to the neighbouring power plant. The owner wants to mine there until 2044. Last March, the Polish climate ministry extended the company's mining concession by six years - otherwise, it would have expired in April. The mine is to be expanded to 30 square kilometres with a depth of 330 metres. Citizens of the bordering Liberec region - and Germany's Saxony - fear increased noise, dust and water loss.
In a legally non-binding opinion, the European Commission concluded in December that the Polish side was incorrectly assessing the impact of the mine on the environment and inaccurately informed neighbouring states of its intentions. However, it has declared the Czech complaints concerning the impact of mining on drinking water supplies to be unfounded, given the evidence presented by both parties concerned.