Lignite plants and water pollution in Greece – the case of Akrini

Τhe Green Tank participated in a debate which took place on Tuesday 10 September 2019, on the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and coal. The discussion was co-organized by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the WWF European Policy Office (WWF EU) and the Polish environmental organization “Development YES – Open-Pit Mines NO “.

The debate included presentations from representatives of the European Commission and the civil society, consultants and lawyers, who highlighted different aspects of the interplay between coal burning and water use.

Nikos Mantzaris of the Green Tank highlighted the negative impact of lignite use in Greece on both the quantity and the quality of groundwater. He particularly focused on the case of hexavalent chromium found in the drinking water of 4 villages in Western Macedonia. He presented the main results of scientific studies which attribute the high concentrations of hexavalent chromium to the fly ash produced from the nearby lignite plant of Ag. Dimitrios, as well as the opposite opinion expressed by another scientific group. Both studies were extensively discussed in the context of the legal dispute between the inhabitants of the lignite villages and the Public Power Corporation (PPC).