Impact of inactive hard-coal mines processes in Silesian Coal Basin on greenhouse gases pollution

Stanisław Nagy, Stanisław Rychlicki, Jakub Siemek


The paper describes air pollution problems in Poland, especially in the urban areas with high levels of SOx, NOx particulates and carbon dioxide. Particularly very high is concentration of sulfur dioxide and particulates. Emission rates percapita and per unit of GDP have been several times that of neighboring western countries, although the levels have been somewhat decreasing. Pollution is concentrated in the area of Silesian Coal Basin, which, for example, produced 23 % of Poland’s total SO2 emissions in 1992, though it occupies only 2% of the country’s area. Contribution of abandoned hard-coal mines processes in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) to greenhouse gases pollution is discussed and a prognosis of future air pollution presented. During the last decades considerable improvements have been achieved in reducing air pollution in the country’s industrial areas, usually as a result of the Government’s efforts through legislative, regulatory and economic means. Also, monitoring of air quality has greatly improved during recent years. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) states report, between 1985 and 2004, the CO2 emissions decreased in Poland by more than 30%, SO2 by 40%, NOx by 4% and particulate matter (PM) by 44%. Potential future improvements in air cleaning with technology transfer and carbon dioxide sequestration is also discussed.


Greenhouse gas, Abandoned coal mines, Pollution, Upper Silesian Coal Basin

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