Lignite Power Plant - wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

What a lignite power plant looks like (this one's in Germany)

Communities in Hungary are up in arms about a state-owned company that wants to build a 440-megawatt power plant near Visonta, close to a protected area. The power plant would be fueled by lignite, a soft brown fuel that falls somewhere between coal and peat.

A lignite mine, serving a smaller power plant at the same location, has already depleted groundwater supplies. An expanded mine to supply the new plant would only make things worse. On top of that, the current plant is already Hungary’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. The new plant would increase CO2 emissions by 2.5 million tons/year.

ELAW partners at the Environmental Management Law Association are working to shelve this bad project before it leaves the drawing board.  EMLA attorney Agnes Gajdics was in the U.S. earlier this year on an ELAW Fellowship. She worked with me and other ELAW staff to help strengthen her case against the power plant.

Agnes Gajdics of EMLA

Agnes Gajdics from EMLA

Agnes sends good news: Authorities have revoked permission to build the plant and have required a new environmental impact assessment!

This is good news for the climate and good news for communities, including the residents of Csinsce who live atop the lignite field that may need to be tapped to feed the proposed new power plant.

Congratulations to Agnes and everyone at EMLA for this inspiring win!

Mark Chernaik
Staff Scientist