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Romanian court blocks state utility's coal mine expansion

A court in Bucharest, Romania, ordered state-owned power company Complexul Energetic Oltenia S.A. to halt the expansion of its coal mine in Gorj County.

The court's decision cited the environmental impact of the proposed 280-hectare expansion, with roughly 235 hectares of the new site covered by forests which will have to be cut down. The site will also be located only 10 km away from a nature preservation site, negatively affecting endangered species.

The original permit, secured by the company in 2016, was granted without the consultation of the most affected locals, according to a press release from the Bankwatch Network, an environmental group that filed the case.

Romania remains one of seven EU countries yet to lay out a phaseout plan for the coal sector, Bankwatch said.