What is S in permission

K + S Minerals and Agriculture, application for a permit under water law to discharge saline wastewater into the Werra for the period 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2027

General project description

K + S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH operates the Neuhof-Ellers plant (Hesse) and the Werra plant in Hesse and Thuringia, which is a composite mine with the potash factories in Hattorf (Hesse), Unterbreizbach (Thuringia) and Wintershall (Hesse). Crude potash salts are mined in the two plants and then processed for use as fertilizer and as intermediate products for a wide range of technical, industrial and pharmaceutical applications. This results in salty production water.
Solid residues arise during processing, which are piled up in accordance with approved or plan-approved operating plans under mining law. When dumping, salty wastewater is created due to precipitation. In addition, other saline wastewater flows, such as mine and drainage water, arise in the course of the mining operation. All water must be properly disposed of by K + S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH.

The saline water was disposed of until December 31, 2020 on the basis of two water law permits issued by the Kassel Regional Council from June 25, 2012, in the version dated November 30, 2015, for the Neuhof-Ellers plant and November 30, 2012, in the version dated November 30 .2015, for the Werra plant.

K + S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH has therefore submitted an application to the Kassel regional council for a permit under water law to continue the discharge of saline wastewater from the Werra and Neuhof-Ellers plants into the Werra in accordance with Sections 8 (1) and 9 (1) no 4 Water Resources Act (WHG) submitted for the period 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2027.
The saline waste water is to be discharged into the Werra via three discharge points, two of which are in Philippsthal and one in Heringen and which are already being used to discharge the applicant's saline waste water into the Werra.

The project is under § 11 WHG (Water Management Act) i. V. m. § 1 No. 3 UVP-V Mining (Ordinance on the Environmental Impact Assessment of Mining Projects). The regional council of Kassel has determined in accordance with § 5 UVPG that the project requires an environmental impact assessment.

Course of the procedure

02.12.2019 => K + S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH has received the application at the regional council

04/14/2020 - 07/20/2020 => hearing of the municipalities, authorities, associations as carriers of public concerns
04.06.2020 - 03.07.2020 => Presentation of the application documents for public inspection in the
affected municipalities (download possible on this page - see below)
07/20/2020 => End of the deadline for the statement of public affairs agencies
08/03/2020 => End of the objection period for the public
01.10.2020 - 15.10.2021 => Online consultation
23.12.2020 => permit under water law for the period 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2021

You can also find details of the procedure on the Kassel Regional Council website at