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Health cost of planned coal power plant in Poland

HEAL provided expertise input regarding the planned coal fired power plant in Stara Wieś, Łęczna, and highlighted the need to comprehensively assess potential health costs.

As in the case of another planned power plant (Czeczott), HEAL addressed its concerns about the health costs and health risk for the citizens of the closest villages and towns to the Mayor of Łęczna, , as part of a public consultation on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) prepared by the power plant’s investor.

One of the concerns was that in the assessment the investor wrote only half a page about the potential health impact of the power plant. The document does not mention any negative consequences for human health coming from air emissions of coal burning, such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, asthma, COPD, lung cancer, stokes or heart failure.

In its submission, HEAL highlighted the health impacts of air pollution, referring to the scientific evidence of the REVIHAAP report, and explaining that readers of the EIA were not informed about the potential increase in the relative risk of these diseases obviously associated with the investment. HEAL also criticised that an outdated model of the atmospheric dispersion of air pollution from the 1960s was used, which could deliver imprecise or incorrect data, and that secondary emission data was disregarded.

HEAL provided its own calculation of health costs, using an European Monitoring and Evaluation Program (EMEP), assuming that the extend of the air pollution impact could reach up to 300 km. In its submission, HEAL maintains that comprehensive health impact assessment should be delivered – that means a new calculation of the air pollution dispersion with the currently used models, and taking the secondary emissions data into consideration.

Originally posted on 26 June 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 »


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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