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Activists fight “concreteosis”. Protest against Oder regulation

Activists fight "concreteosis". Protest against Oder regulation

Image source: © Instagram
Maja Kozłowska,
05.09.2023 11:00

Wrocław activists from the "Czas na Odrę" Coalition and the Youth Climate Strike are picketing against the "revitalisation" of the Oder. They argue that rivers should be taken care of differently.

On 13 July, the Sejm adopted the Oder River Special Act. On 23 August it was signed into law by President Andrzej Duda. Its implementation was opposed by scientists, opposition politicians and environmental organisations. Despite the voices of dissatisfaction, all the proposed amendments were rejected.

As Green party’s MP Małgorzata Tracz wrote on Twitter (X): "The Law and Justice MPs have just passed a death sentence on the Oder."

The Oder River Special Act is supposed to facilitate investment in the river basin, as well as establishing a water police force - which will be armed and authorised to use means of physical coercion.

Oder River Special Act. The death to the Oder?

Interestingly, the entire opposition - KO, PSL, The Left, Polska 2050 and Confederation - was against the adoption of the Oder River Special Act during the vote. Nobody abstained from the vote. The opinion of the entire Law and Justice party, three Kukiz’15 MPs and three politicians from the Polskie Sprawy circle weighed in.

The Oder River Special Act lists investments such as the Ścinawa and Lubiąż barrages, the renovation of weirs on the River Ner, the reconstruction of the Warta riverbed, the renovation of flood protection embankments, and the construction of new water reservoirs and fish passes.

The document leaves considerable room for abuse. Although penalties have been increased for activities that harm the river, they will not apply to mines, despite the fact that they pour the most salt water into the Oder, the excess of which has contributed to the growth of golden algae.

Activists: "these will certainly make the EU penalise Poland".

Environmental activists are protesting against the Special Act. They point out that the measures mentioned in the document could result in the destruction of natural animal habitats, but also reduce the ability of the river to clean itself.

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"It will do us no good to concrete the banks of the Oder or any other river. These will certainly make the EU to penalise Poland for destroying natural animal habitats," Krzysztof Smolnicki of the "Czas na Odrę" Coalition told Radio Wrocław.

"The approach to date is simply a disease that destroys not only our environment, but increases the threat of floods and droughts, and reduces the river's ability to clean itself. What we need is not laws and further regulations, but rivers that are clean and natural," added the activist.

"We look forward to discussing the statutory provisions. There is much to change. Unfortunately, the possible penalties are still too low. It's good for the rich, it doesn't hurt state-owned companies, because either they won't pay, or even if they do, the money will be taken out of the taxpayer's pocket," commented Szmo Kacprzak of the Youth Climate Strike in an interview with Radio Wrocław.

"The Special Act does not solve the problem on the Oder, which is its pollution and salinity. The fact that state-owned companies and mines are to pay 10 groszy instead of five groszy for every kilogram of salts dumped into the water from 2030 can’t be called a solution," emphasised the activist.

Source: radiowroclaw.pl, oko.press

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