NGOs call to address the impacts of lignite mining on water in the Oder river basin

On June 8th, the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder River (ICPO) will meet to discuss the updates of the international River Basin Management Plan.

CCB, European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and partner NGOs are calling on the ICPO, the Ministries of Water and the Water Directors of the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland, to take the necessary measures to protect the river from the disruptive impacts of lignite mining, with a joint letter.

Key messages and facts

  • The Oder river basin water status is far from good: less than 40% of the surface water bodies are in good chemical status, and not even 20% are in good ecological status
  • The EU Water Framework Directive requires the river basin to reach good water status by 2027, but too many exemptions to polluters – including lignite mines – are jeopardising this objective
  • The national and international River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) are a key opportunity to revert this trend, protect and restore the Oder waters and basin
  • The impacts of lignite mining are tackled in the upcoming river basin management plans and strategies, with a special focus on:
    • Preventing lignite mines pressure on water bodies
    • Implementing the ‘polluter pays principle’ to hold polluters accountable
    • Cutting pollution at source
    • Stopping the abuse of exemptions
  • Have your say in the public consultation on the Oder RBMP