PR:It is after election and minister Brabec gave municipalities a slap in the face
Press Release of Platform Against Deep Repository dated November 10, 2017
It is after election and minister Brabec gave municipalities a slap in the face
Municipalities associated in the Platform are going to defend themselves
Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec surprisingly brought exploration permits for geological exploration for potential repository sites at Březový potok (near Horažďovice), Čertovka (near Lubenec), Čihadlo (near Lodhéřov in Jindřichův Hradec) and Magdaléna (near Jistebnice in Tábor) back to life. The decision about the remaining three exploration permits for the sites in Highlands will be taken later.
The Minister canceled his earlier ministerial decision  and stated that it will be decided again about extension of the validity of the exploration areas, although their validity expired at the end of 2016 . This is in full contradiction with the law. This is also another of the chaotic steps taken by the state administration in the preparation of this strategic and sensitive construction for over one hundred billion Czech crowns. By taking this step, the Minister is clumsily attempting to compensate for the previous negligence of officials of the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) who have failed to carry out geological surveys as originally planned date, or to ensure the extension of the validity of the exploration areas which makes geological survey possible. The consequences of this chaotic process are taken away by local authorities in selected sites.
In the meantime, RAWRA has begun to claim that the exploration permits are not neccessary for carrying out the planned geological works, and the initially planned work began with the quiet approval of the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) as a geological research for which exploration areas are not needed.
At our instigation, the Ministry of the Environment carried out a review of RAWRA's work in June 2017 to clarify the accuracy of the RAWRA process. Until this time, the result has been unknown, Minister Brabec has not responded to the open letter of the Platform Against Deep Repository of 16th October, urging this issue. 
The Municipal Court in Prague has not yet decided on the actions of 18 municipalities and 6 associations that have challenged the illegality of the setting up exploration areas in 2015. Municipalities and associations associated the Platform Against Deep Repository are still prepared to use all available legal means to defend the interests of the concerned inhabitants.
Petr Nohava, spokeperson of the Platform Against Deep Repository said: "To municipalities, it is another slap in the face. And the message is clear – rules do not apply. The state loses the last remnants of credibility and the whole process begins to resemble the farce.“
Pavel Doucha, partner in a law firm Doucha Šikola Advocates Ltd. added: "The ministry's approach is difficult to understand from legal point of view. Just as it is not possible to revive corpses, it is impossible to extend permits that have expired. "
Platform Against Deep Repository associates 35 members (23 municipalities and 12 associations) and its aim is to enforce such a way of finding a solution that would be open, transparent and which by law would adequately guarantee the rights of the municipality and the public's rightful welfare. http://www.platformaprotiulozisti.cz/
Further information can be provided by:
- Ing. Petr Nohava, Mayor of Pluhův Žďár and spokesman for the Platform Against Deep Repository - tel.: 725 972 632, e-mail:pnohava AT gmail DOT com
- Mgr. Pavel Doucha, partner in a law firm Doucha Šikola Advocates Ltd. – tel.: 608 873 437, e-mail: doucha AT dsadvokati DOT cz
- Decision of the Minister of the Environment on the appeal of the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority for the Březový Potok site of 7th November 2017: http://www.nechcemeuloziste.cz/cs/lokality/brezovy-potok/pravni-stav-brez/rozhodnuti-listopad-2017-bp.html
- For your interest, we recall the basic milestones of exploration permits on the example of the Březový potok site:
- 18th October 2013 – Upon RAWRA’s request, Ministry of the Environment initiates a procedure for the establishment of exploration area for special interventions in the Earth's crust in the Březový potok site
- 16th October 2014 - The Ministry of the Environment established the exploration area called Březový potok with effect until 31st December 2016
- 25th August 2015 - Minister Richard Brabec refused appeals of municipalities and association Calla and confirmed the decision of the MoE
- 23rd October 2015 - Seven municipalities from the site filed a lawsuit against the decision of Minister Brabec - not yet decided
- 7th December 2016 - RAWRA has requested an extension of the validity period of the exploration permits by 24 months from the date of validity of the new decision
- 31st December 2016 – Validity of the exploration area expires
- 24th February 2017 - The Ministry of the Environment stops the prolongation procedure because the exploration permit is no longer valid
- 15th March 2017 - RAWRA files a lawsuit against termination of proceedings
- 7th November 2017 - Minister Richard Brabec supports RAWRA and cancels the decision of the Ministry of the Environment to terminate the proceedings for extending the validity period
- Open Letter of the Platform to the Minister of the Environment Brabec of October 16, 2017 is available at http://www.platformaprotiulozisti.cz/cs/aktuality/kryje-ministerstvo-zivotniho-prostredi-postup-spravy-ulozist/_files/otevreny-dopis-brabec-171016.pdf
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