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    Provincial Administrative Court Halts Proceedings on Turow Mine’s Environmental Permit, Ensuring Ongoing Operations

    The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw has taken a significant step by temporarily halting the ongoing proceedings related to the environmental permit issued for the Turow lignite mine situated on the Polish-Czech border. This decision, made on Thursday, effectively maintains the validity of the current permit, ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of mining activities at the site.

    The issue surrounding the Turow mine has garnered attention from environmentalists and the Czech government, both of whom have called for the mine’s closure due to alleged detrimental effects on the local environment. However, the Polish government has countered these demands, emphasizing that any cessation of operations at the mine could lead to substantial job losses and potentially disrupt Poland’s power supply.

    The rationale behind the court’s decision to suspend proceedings stems from the lack of a conclusive resolution in parallel legal actions involving an application by PGE Mining and Energetyka Conventional Joint Stock Company (PGE GiEK) aimed at modifying the existing environmental permit.

    Judge Agnieszka Wojcik, presiding over the case, highlighted the court’s obligation to temporarily halt the proceedings in light of these circumstances.

    Bartosz Rogala, a legal representative for Greenpeace, revealed that even prior to environmentalists lodging their appeal against the Turow mine’s environmental permit, PGE GiEK had already submitted a request to the General Director for Environmental Protection (GDOS) for an alteration to the permit’s terms. However, in a recent twist, PGE GiEK withdrew this application, prompting GDOS to issue a decision to terminate the administrative proceedings tied to the case.

    Judge Wojcik further clarified that the court’s temporary suspension of proceedings was contingent on the final and binding resolution of the discontinuation decision. This procedural move is grounded in legal protocol.

    Anna Moskwa, the minister responsible for climate and environment affairs, expressed her approval of the court’s ruling. In a statement, she conveyed, “The battle concerning Turow persists. The administrative court’s choice to suspend proceedings means that the environmental permit for the mine, valid until 2044, remains effective, safeguarding the mine’s operations from immediate jeopardy.” The decision resonates positively for those vested in the future of the Turow mine and its associated endeavors.

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