Environmental impact
The national environmental standards positively set Poland apart from other EU countries.

PSE endeavours to reconcile the reliable and efficient operation of the power system with its development whilst respecting the natural environment.

Our every power project meets stringent requirements for the impact of extra-high voltage lines on the environment.

Polish safety standards for electric and magnetic field impact for residential areas are among the most restrictive in the world.

High environmental standards in Poland compared with other countries

PSE in comparison to environmental standards of other European operators

GRI 102-11
The standards for the construction of overhead transmission power lines used by PSE are consistent with those applied throughout Europe – they are governed by the PN-EN 50341-1 standard “Overhead electrical lines exceeding AC 45 kV”. Part 1: General requirements. Common specifications”.
The standard provides line design guidelines relating e.g. to magnetic and electric field and induction (Sect. 5.6), prospective and effective touch voltage limits (Sect. 6.2.4), lightning discharges (Sect. 6.4), radio frequency interference level (Sect. 10.3), noise (Sect. 5.5.2), and others.
Specific values of different types of impact are stated in the standard including reference to the related standard PN-EN 50341-2-22 “Overhead electrical lines exceeding AC 1 kV. Part 2 National Normative Aspects (NNAs)”.
Polish legal regulations concerning the formation of standards and regulations are dictated by current in-house and international studies – they are adjusted to progress and specialist knowledge.
Since the 1980s, the conservative approach has been applied in Poland concerning e.g. the impact of electromagnetic fields (EMF). The first regulations already were of such a nature and this approach continues to be applied1. Standards are not designed in terms of harmful effects, because there is no such evidence, which is testified by numerous research studies evaluated periodically by outstanding experts and endorsed by the world’s largest organisations:
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)2,
  • International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection ICNIRP),
  • Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)3,
  • International Non-Ioizing Radiation Committee (IRPA).
The regulations adopted by at European operators are also an expression of the conservative approach, where based on acquired knowledge technically justified and economically reasonable impact levels are set. Despite different tendencies in the formation law, their unification across Europe and the world is proposed most often. EMF values near 50 Hz 500MVA, 400/220kV AC transmission lines are proposed to be unified at 5 kV/m electric component and 80 A/m (100 µT) magnetic component (regulations in force e.g. in France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Croatia and Lithuania).
[1] Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of 30 October 2003 on electromagnetic field limits in the environment and methods of checking compliance with those limits, Journal of Laws of 2003, No 192, item 1883.
This regulation was issued in accordance with the authorisation of Article 122 of the Environmental Protection Law in agreement with the minister in charge of health. The purpose of the obligation imposed by the legislature on the body authorised to issue the regulation to reach agreement with the minister in charge of health was to ensure an environmental condition that will have no negative effects on the environment or on human health.
[2] WHO, Extremely low frequency fields, "Environmental Health Criteria” nr 238 oraz Electromagnetic fields and public health, 16.12.2014.
[3] SCENIHR, Opinion on Potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), 2015.
This 2015 study (288 pages of opinions about almost 900 thematic studies from the 2005-2014 period) confirms that the existing scope of research does not clarify the mechanisms of adverse effect of electromagnetic fields on living organisms.
The applicable EMF values in Poland are as follows:
  • 1kV/m electric component for areas considered by the legislature to be subject to special protection (e.g. residential development area),
  • 10kV/m electric component for areas accessible for people,
  • 60 A/m (75µT) magnetic component for all types areas.
The environmental standards adopted in Poland are considered high. Their application in design and construction practice has won appreciation e.g. of the European Commission, expressed in Resolution 2008/2211.
Tab. 1. EMF values in different European countries
EMF values in different European countries
European country Legal regulations Notes
Electric field Magnetic field
Learn more
Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, United Kingdom, Netherlands No legal regulations, but recommendations apply. In each country, there are committees that create their own recommendations (United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden)    
Belgium 5 kV/m (residential zones)   No regulations on magnetic field
France, Germany, Croatia, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Lithuania 5 kV/m 100µT  
Greece 4 kV/m 80µT ICNIRP values
at 0.8 coeff.
Switzerland 5 kV/m 100µT
1µT for sensitive zones (schools, hospitals, retirement homes…)
The values for sensitive zones apply only to new equipment
Slovenia 5 kV/m 500 V/m 100µT
10µT for sensitive zones
The values for sensitive zones apply only to new equipment
Italy 5 kV/m 100µT
10µT (average for 4 h per day)

3µT (average for 4 h per day)
„Conservative value” applied to built-up areas and to existing equipment

“Qualitative value” applied to built-up areas and to new equipment
Source: RTE France, Électricité de France, „Les champs électromagnétiques de très basse fréquence”, str. 63.
The EMF impact values in Poland are summarised in Table 2. below in comparison with values recommended by selected international organisations.
Tab. 2. Polish EMF values compared with international requirements
EMF values compared with international requirements
Poland vs European standards Electric field Magnetic field
Poland4 1kV/m (residential zone)
75 µT (60A/m)
Directive 2004/40/EC 10 kV/m 500 µT (400A/m)
Recommendation 1999/519/EC4 5kV/m 100 µT (80 A/m)
IRPA 5kV/m
10kV/m (occupational exposure – 8h)
30kV/m (exposure <8h )
100 µT (80A/m)
1mT (800A/m)
[4] Council Recommendation of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (1999/519/EC).
Owing to cooperation with European operators, PSE has the opportunity to compare legal regulations and environmental standards related to the use of transmission lines and their environmental impact.
The high, compared with other countries, environmental standards applicable in Poland result from respect for social expectations, according to satisfying energy needs through the expansion of necessary power infrastructure should be combined with minimising impacts on the environment.
PSE also applies the relevant legal provisions related to occupational exposure to EMF on active elements of the transmission network; they apply both to the company’s own employees and to contractors’ employees.
Tab. 3. In 2018, as in previous years, no fines were imposed on PSE for non-compliance with laws and regulations on environmental protection.
GRI 307-1
Monetary value of fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations
2018 2017
Total monetary value of fines for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations 0 0
Number of non-monetary, administrative and court sanctions imposed on the organisation for non-compliance with environmental protection laws and regulations, including: 0 1
– international declarations/conventions/treaties as well as national, regional, and local regulations 0 0
– voluntary environmental agreements with regulatory bodies that are considered binding and developed as a substitute for implementing new regulation 0 1*
cases brought against the organisation by dispute resolution bodies supervised by government authorities 0 0
*Environmental protection inspections performed in 2017 disclosed a non-conformity at one facility:
- Stanisławów Substation – an inspection follow-up order was issued pursuant to Article 12(1)(1) and (2) of the Environmental Protection Inspection Act