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Albanians, NGO file lawsuit against hydropower project

Associated Press logo Associated Press 29/05/2017

TIRANA, Albania — Albanian residents and a non-governmental organization have filed a lawsuit against the government for giving a concession to build a hydropower station in a protected valley.

Toka (Earth), a local organization founded in 2016 to conserve the Albanian Alps, and residents of four villages in the Valbona Valley, want the court to "declare the absolute invalidity of the concession contract."

The valley is in the Albanian Alps, a scenic area attractive to tourists about 260 kilometers (160 miles) north of the capital, Tirana.

Toka's Catherine Bohne said that the project would cause "serious and irreparable damage to both the natural environment as well as the community's social well-being."

The case was taken to the Administrative Court in Tirana after failed attempts to convince the Energy Ministry to stop the project.

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