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Jänschwalde opencast mine: unresolved legal situation persist

The Jänschwalde opencast mine does not have to be stopped on 15 May, according to today's decision by the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG). The Higher Administrative Court refused to suspend the current opencast mining permit in summary proceedings and amended a corresponding decision of the Cottbus Administrative Court.
"With today's decision, the legal ambiguity surrounding the Jänschwalde opencast mine continues. The court expressly leaves open whether the opencast mine is currently being operated illegally. This can only be decided in the main proceedings. The region affected by the lowering of the groundwater will be confronted with the consequences of the open-cast mine for a long time to come," says Sascha Müller-Kraenner, national director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe.
"In the case of the Jänschwalde opencast mine, LEAG still lacks several permits to implement its ideas. For example, it is still unclear whether the water extraction, which has so far only been permitted until 2022, can be extended until 2044 as requested by LEAG. In addition, the company wants to deviate from the current lignite mining plan in terms of recultivation and has not yet received permission from the authorities to do so. In all these proceedings, we will intensively examine how the damage to the water balance caused by opencast mining can be effectively minimised," says René Schuster of the GRÜNE LIGA.

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