My name is Neoklis Theodoulidis and I am an orthopaedic surgeon living in Ptolemais, in the northwest part of Greece , a place where the largest coal mines( lignite mines to be precise) exist and are being exploited since 1957-58.
The reason for this discussion/request is the following.
DEI, the State Electricity Company , which is responsible for the powerplants in the area and provides lignite ( fossil fuel) for the powerplants over the years has displaced several villages ( some with compensation , some with pending compensation) .
This has led however to a total transformation of the surrounding environment , as the excavation is done superficially( max depth of 200-220m)by huge mechanical excavators and the residual rubble is only forming artificial- ever growing in height -mountains around the city of Ptolemais with a change in the local climate.
In addition , recent activity is focused against any reposition of the displaced rubble in areas of where the coal - lignite is depleted and instead , DEI is letting the depleted area being used as a dump of rubbish , including asbestos and other dangerous waste products, unavoidably putting in danger the water table as deep as 200m.
A few years ago in fact hexavolent chromium was found in areas around the largest of the power stations, Agios Dimitrios and a temporary ban on the use of water was inflicted.This was however raised fairly quickly.
As a resident of the area I would like to know the procedure in order to use EU Environmental Law against DEI in order to :
-stop dumping rubble in ever growing mountains and instead reposition the rubble in areas where the coal is depleted
-forbid the use of the coal mines from being used as a rubbish/waste dump
-enforce procedures for making sure that the water which is drank and used in domestic and agricultural activities is totally safe and free of heavy and dangerous metals.
I have several photos of the area and the progressive transformation which has taken place over the years.It is sad that the local authorities have paid little attention to these matters , as they seem to be mainly focused on the financial aspect only of the work provided to local families and businesses and much less towards the public benefit in terms of health and safety towards future generations.
Any views that would support the above would be very welcome...
Dr Neoklis Theodoulidis