(Source: Court of Justice of the European Union)
The Turów open-cast lignite mine is located on Polish territory, close to the borders of the Czech
Republic and Germany. In 1994, the competent Polish authorities granted PGE Elektrownia
Bełchatów S.A., now PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna S.A. (‘the operator’), a
concession to operate that mine until 30 April 2020.
According to a Polish law of 2008, the validity of a lignite mining concession may be extended
once for a period of six years without any environmental impact assessment where that extension
is motivated by rational management of the deposit without extending the scope of the concession.
On 24 October 2019, the operator submitted an application to extend that concession for six years.
On 21 January 2020, the Regional Director of Environmental Protection in Wrocław adopted the
decision on environmental conditions for the project relating to the continued exploitation of the
Turów lignite deposit until 2044 (‘the EIA decision’) and on 23 January 2020 declared that decision
immediately enforceable. On 24 January 2020, the operator attached the EIA Decision to its 2019
application for the extension of the mining concession. By a decision of 20 March 2020, the Polish
Minister for Climate granted permission for lignite mining until 2026.