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Greenpeace legal challenge targets one of Romania’s biggest polluters

Greenpeace Romania, with the support of ClientEarth, has submitted a legal challenge against a lifetime permit granted to one of Romania’s oldest and largest coal power plants.

Greenpeace Romania is looking to annul the plant’s permit, which it claims does not comply with new, tougher EU pollution laws and fails to consider the impact on the health of people and the planet. The new permit was granted in September 2018 and allows the power plant, at Rovinari in south-western Romania, to operate indefinitely.

“Rovinari is one of the biggest polluters in the EU and one of the deadliest in terms of air pollution,” said Dominque Doyle, a ClientEarth lawyer. “But amazingly, it has been granted fresh permission to pollute indefinitely without having to assess any of these risks.

“The recent UN IPCC report confirmed that Europe needs a completely fossil-free energy system by 2030. However, by granting this open-ended permit, there is no end in sight for this giant polluter.”

Key assessments must be carried out when authorising, changing or extending certain projects to assess the impact on the health of people, the environment and the climate.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should have been carried out, or at least considered, before extending Rovinari’s permit. An EIA would assess the effects of pollution from the plant throughout its lifetime. Failure to consider an EIA in this instance disregards both EU and Romanian law.

Rovinari, commissioned in 1972 and now the 33rd most pollutant power station in Europe, is also upstream from an EU nature protection site that contains dozens of threatened habitats and species. The plant is close enough that an appropriate assessment should have been carried out to determine its impact on the habitats and species that depend on the site. It was not. According to Europe Without Coal, pollution from the plant was directly responsible for 142 deaths in 2015.

Greenpeace Romania campaigner, Cosmin Pleşcan said: “The nature site provides an essential source of water for a host of threatened species and habitats. The permit allows the power plant to discharge significant amounts of mercury, a hazardous substance, directly upstream from the site.

“We need to know what the effects of chemical pollution are to ensure these precious ecosystems are not exposed to additional threats.

“If these assessments are not carried out now, they will never be carried out and may result in irreversible harm to people, nature and the climate.”

The authorities have approximately one month to respond to Greenpeace Romania’s administrative challenge. If no changes are made to the permit to rectify these breaches in the law, the campaigners will challenge the permit through the courts.

Photo: Mircea Rareș Țetcu

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  • Greenpeace Romania, with the support of ClientEarth, has filed a lawsuit against a life permit granted by one of the oldest and largest coal-fired power plants in Romania.
    Greenpeace Romania wants to revoke the permission of the plant, which, according to him, does not comply with the new, more stringent EU pollution laws and does not take into account the impact on the health of people and the planet. A new permit was granted in September 2018 and allowed the power station in Rovinari in southwestern Romania to operate indefinitely.
    “Rovinari is one of the largest polluters in the EU and one of the most deadly in terms of air pollution,” said Dominic Doyle, an associate at ClientEarth. “But surprisingly, he was granted a new pollution clearance for an indefinite period without assessing any of these risks.”
    Romania has a huge potential for the development of the most environmentally friendly, the most reliable, and the cheapest form of electricity production. Plus, the timing of work. With new technologies in construction, hydroelectric power plants can work for more than a hundred years. With this approach, Romania can provide the hydropower station with energy not only for itself, but also the entire region rather quickly. The speed of commissioning will ensure the parallel construction of large, medium, and mini hydropower plants for one or several farmers. There will be no loss of jobs – all workers will be equipped with new, incomparably cleaner jobs.
    Sincerely, environmental programs developer, Victor Rodin. Ukraine. Khmelnitsky NPP. Tel. Kiev Star: 961336344. Mail: dorosydos@gmail.com, rodinviktor@lenta.ru
    — — —
    Гринпис Румыния при поддержке ClientEarth подала судебный иск против пожизненного разрешения, предоставленного одной из старейших и крупнейших угольных электростанций в Румынии.
    Гринпис Румыния хочет аннулировать разрешение завода, которое, по его утверждению, не соответствует новым, более жестким законам ЕС о загрязнении и не учитывает влияние на здоровье людей и планеты. Новое разрешение было предоставлено в сентябре 2018 года и позволило электростанции в Ровинари на юго-западе Румынии действовать бессрочно.
    «Ровинари является одним из крупнейших загрязнителей в ЕС и одним из самых смертоносных с точки зрения загрязнения воздуха», – сказал Доминик Дойл, юрист ClientEarth. «Но удивительно, что ему было предоставлено новое разрешение на загрязнение на неопределенный срок без оценки каких-либо из этих рисков».
    Румыния обладает огромнейшим потенциалом для развития самого экологически чистого, самого надёжного, и самого дешёвого вида производства электроэнергии. Плюс, сроки работ. При новых технологиях в строительстве, ГЭС могут работать больше ста лет. При таком подходе, Румыния может обеспечить энергией ГЭС не только себя – но и весь регион достаточно быстро. Скорость ввода в работу обеспечит параллельное строительство крупных, средних, и мини ГЭС для одного или нескольких фермеров. Не произойдёт и потери рабочих мест – все работники будут обустроены на новых, несравнимо более чистых работах.