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    Polish National Prosecutor Challenges Suspension of Environmental Permit for Turów Lignite Mine

    Poland’s National Prosecutor’s Office has taken action in response to a recent court ruling that suspended an environmental permit for the Turów lignite mine located on the Polish-Czech border.

    Last week, the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw declared that the open-cast mine posed a significant environmental threat, leading to the suspension of an environmental permit issued by the General Environmental Protection Authority (GDOS) in September of last year.

    This ruling comes after a previous agreement between Warsaw and Prague in February, which aimed to resolve a longstanding dispute regarding the negative impact of the Turów mine on groundwater in the Czech Republic. The case had even reached the Court of Justice of the European Union before a resolution was reached.

    In November 2022, several non-governmental organizations, including the Frank Bold Foundation from Germany, as well as the Czech and German branches of Greenpeace, filed a complaint against the GDOS’s decision.

    On Tuesday, Łukasz Łapczyński, spokesperson for the National Prosecutor’s Office, stated that the prosecution’s complaint was grounded in the belief that the administrative court’s ruling “violated regulations that hold essential importance to this case.”

    Łapczyński emphasized that the court’s decision to halt the implementation of the GDOS’s ruling failed to provide clear justification regarding the events or circumstances that posed a severe and irreversible threat to the environment.

    “The prosecutor has highlighted that in matters such as these, the court has an obligation to operate transparently and substantiate its decisions adequately,” Łapczyński commented. He further acknowledged the significance of the case for the future of the Turów miners.

    “This issue pertains to matters of paramount importance to the public interest, including the continued employment of several thousand individuals,” he added.

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