Fight the Smog with the Law!
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-01-2021 - 30-04-2023
Project cost:
42 195,00 EUR
41 135,00 EUR
Types of activities:
social actions and campaigns, educational activities, intervention actions, watchdog activities
Target groups:
activists / community leaders, decision makers, society

People living in many regions of Poland breathe the most polluted air in the European Union (EU). According to the World Health Organization’s 2018 list, 36 out of the 50 most polluted cities in the EU are in Poland. Poor air quality directly affects the health of people in Poland. At the same time, many individuals and municipal services are unaware of the possibilities and legal tools for intervening in cases of environmental pollution.

Our project supported the fight for clean air, demonstrating that citizens are not powerless in the battle against smog. We invited activists from 5 regions most affected by smog to participate in the project. During the initial meeting, these individuals shared their knowledge, experiences from their activities, and their working methods. We organized a series of 6 training and advisory meetings during which we discussed legal tools, research methods and techniques, laws, and anti-smog resolutions. We also conducted citizen monitoring, examining the effectiveness of crisis management centers in the air pollution protection system and the involvement of local and state institutions in actions to improve air quality in 100 municipalities within these 5 regions. We involved the fire department and building supervision offices from these municipalities in our efforts to address air pollution more effectively. We also conducted a campaign in selected regions on how to use the legal tool of an administrative order for replacing coal boilers, which are sources of excessive smoke emissions. It is a little-known procedure included in environmental protection law, which we were the first to use in Poland to combat so-called “smokestacks,” initiating 78 proceedings across the country, 25 of which have been successfully concluded (the remaining cases are ongoing). Finally, we conducted a civic anti-smog education process, inviting residents from these regions to discuss the replacement of coal boilers and the associated difficulties.

An important outcome of our actions is the improved enforcement of anti-smog laws, with the tangible result of replacing 25 coal boilers that were previously a problem for the entire neighborhood. Furthermore, we know that thanks to the training, dozens of social activists have enhanced their competence in anti-smog activities.

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