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Health costs of the planned Czeczott power plant in Poland

HEAL warns that the construction of a new power plant in the region of Silesia –Czeczott - could lead to annual health costs of at least 30 million EUR. A comprehensive health impact assessment should be carried out.

The Czeczott power plant is scheduled to be built in the Silesian region of Poland. HEAL raised its concerns on the health costs to the Mayor of Miedźna, the responsible of the area where the power unit is going to be build, as part of a public consultation.. The consultation asked for comments on an environmental impact assessment that had been carried out.

HEAL criticizes this analysis for several reasons: first, the model of the atmospheric dispersion of air pollution is outdated. The model dates from the 1960s and is no longer used in current studies and reports due to numerous irregularities in the calculations results, such as disregarding secondary emission data. It can be assumed that the calculations the environmental impact assessment was based on were imprecise, or even incorrect.

Second, the analysis of possible health impacts (described together with the tangible goods) of the power plant took up only half a page of the 257 page assessment.

In its submission, HEAL underlined the link between coal power plants and human health, , explaining that any increase in the pollutants’ concentrations because of increased emissions from power plants has a negative impact on health and can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, such as asthma, COPD, lung cancer, stokes or heart failure.

HEAL also provided its own calculation of health costs, using an EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Program) model. According to the EMEP it can be assumed that the extend of the air pollution impact could reach up to 300 km. It allowed the calculation of the external health costs of Czeczott power plant, which can be estimated at least 30 million EUR per year.

Given these shortcomings and flaws, a comprehensive health impact assessment should now be carried out, including a recalculation of the air pollution dispersion using the currently used models that include also secondary emissions data.

Submission in Polish available here

Originally posted on 14 May 2014

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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