Mintia, Romania, 7 September 2017 — 10 Greenpeace Romania activists today peacefully protested against the ongoing illegal operation of the Mintia coal power plant, in Hunedoara county, Western Romania.

Protesters projected: “Operating illegally for 4 years” and “Romania: 15 illegal coal units” on the plant’s cooling tower. They are demanding the plant be shut down as it does not have the required environmental permits and has not complied with pollution limits for the past four years.

Alin Tanase, an energy campaigner with Greenpeace Romania, said:

“The plant’s operator would rather ignore environmental regulator’s demands and pay the fines for its illegal operation than shut it down. We are demanding that that Energy Ministry take the responsible step and replace this dirty, environmentally damaging coal power plant with renewable energy infrastructure which benefits the environment and Romanians. According to this report on coal power plants in Romania, 15 of the 28 are currently operating outside the law.”

Greenpeace Romania also published the report `Coal power plants status in Romania in 2017`, an analysis of the coal-fired power plants across Romania and how they are ignoring  air pollutants limits. [1]
Romanian context information:
The 15 energy units that can function only illegal are installations of the power plants in Bacau (1 unit), Turceni (2 units), Govora (2 units), Drobeta (4 units), Paroseni (1 unit) and Mintia (5 units). These installations do not have the capacity to operate respecting the emission limits provided by the law regarding industrial emissions, therefore many power plants do not have an integrated environmental permit, and their operation is illegal. In its turn, the environmental permit cannot be obtained, in spite of the demands made in this sense by the operators, as long as there were no investments made in order to comply with the emission limits.
Only power plants in Iasi (1 unit), Rovinari (4 units), Isalnita (2 units), Craiova (2 units) and a part of Turceni (4 units) can operate legally, they have a valid environmental permit, and their emissions are within limits because of the so-called derogations – being exempted from complying with the legal obligations to reduce pollution, under the form of an agreement to close or refurbish the power plant until a new established date.
In Romania, 15 of the 28 coal power plants in the country are currently operating illegally.

Report is available here in Romanian, English version coming soon.
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