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    Supreme Administrative Court Overturns Suspension of Turow Lignite Mine Permit

    The Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) has reversed the decision of a Warsaw court that had suspended the environmental permit for the Turow lignite mine, situated on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic.

    Previously, on June 7, the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw declared the mine’s operation illegal, citing its failure to meet environmental requirements due to the absence of a valid environmental permit. The government reacted strongly to this verdict, pledging to safeguard the mine and the thousands of jobs associated with it, emphasizing its significance for the country’s energy security.

    The NSA reviewed complaints filed by the General Environmental Protection Authority (GDOS), which had granted the permit, PGE GiEK (the mine’s owner), and the National Prosecutor’s Office. As per NSA spokesperson Judge Sylwester Marciniak, the court found that the lower court should have considered the broader public interest and the concerns of other stakeholders during the proceedings.

    Marciniak stated, “The provincial court failed to make a proper assessment of the plaintiff’s applications and the arguments presented by the investor and the state body.”

    He further added, “The court emphasized the undeniable constitutional value of energy security, as it serves as one of the pillars of the state’s independence and the protection of its citizens.”

    The case originated in February 2022 when Warsaw reached an agreement with Prague to resolve a long-standing dispute over the alleged adverse effects of the Turow mine on groundwater in the Czech Republic.

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

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