The Environmental Liability Directive

marts 13, 2008 at 8:55 pm 13 kommentarer

European FlagDuring the research of my recent article on The Czech Environmental Act, I had an interview with Ondřej Vícha, who is responsible for the transposition of the Environmental Liability Directive (2004/35/EC) into the Czech legal order and drafting of the Czech environmental liability act.

He told me that it was expected to come into force next month, which was the main angle on the news story. But I thought I would expand a little bit and talk a little bit about why this act is important in relation to our environment and specifically to the protection of our waters.

What is this all about

The Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) is a very simple concept with a very complex set of rule, regulations and guideline which can be followed asstrict or lenient as each member state wants. The ELD promotes foremost the “Polluter Pays Principle (PPP)”, and it took more than 10 years to produce a working legislative text, and 20 years of debate in EU and other European countries.[1]

The PPP is the idea of making businesses which harm the environment legally and financially accountable for their damage. This is based on the assumption that potential polluters will behave more carefully.

That sounds pretty simple…

It sure does, why did it take so long to figure out then you might ask?

The directive does provide a lot of leeway for individual countries to interpret and incorporate this into their legal system in any way they want really. This has been questioned and challenged by several organisations, all slowing down the process.

EEBEnvironmental damage provisions apply to water, land or biodiversity, but the rules on when operators are liable for specific types of damage are complex.[2] The polluter can be held responsible in two distinct ways. It is either Strict
Liability or Permit and State of the art.

These are fairly complex, but simplified ‘Strict Liability’ means that the polluter is automatically responsible. Permit and State of the art let’s member states allow the operator not to bear the cost if he can prove that it was not his fault.

What this all means for the environment

Right, this all sounds good but what are the practical effects this will have?

Hungary has been the fastest and most efficient country when it comes to incorporating the ELD. In regards to water damages Hungary has also formed their own guidelines.

Damage to water is defined in all states identically or very similarly to the definition in the directive. The transposition measures use the same or similar terms. However, the Hungarian law gives more detailed guidelines, to raise a probability of significant adverse effects to water. These factors are to be considered[3]:

a) adverse changes of conditions necessary to maintenance of habitats and living organisms directly depending from the surface waters,

b) limitation or hindering normal usage of waters,

c) emergence of environmental-health risks,

d) exceeding environmental quality thresholds determined in separate laws,

e) pollution of surface waters with materials determined in Annex 1C and materials in Annex 1D, if coming from certain technologies,

f) adverse changes to a starting status established in a decision of the authority. It has been suggested by the Justice & Environment organisation that these “significant adverse effect on water”, also could be taken in to account by other member states.

What I think about all this

I think this was about time, such a simple principle should and is already in place in many countries, but to make polluters pay for their damages can only make them more aware and more careful, if the price is high enough.

My worry is that some big companies will just pay for the clean-up and still pollute. In that relation I’m a bit disappointed to find that insurance is not mandatory in the directive.

I could have wished for much clearer guidelines and more strict liability, and in general a more uniformed legislation in all the member states. The directive will provide some issues for businesses to consider, and we will hopefully be able to make the right people pay when the environment is damaged due to pollution. As when the Spanish authorities
spent €240 million on cleanup after a dam containing toxic waste from a mine burst.

Environmental Liability Directive: how well are Member States handling transposition?
Metamorphosis Newsletter No. 42, July 2006
ELD Legal Analysis

Entry filed under: Environment, Europe, Water. Tags: , , , , , .

Ondřej Vícha on the Czech Environmental Liability Act (ELA) The ‘MNO’ of Water Pollution

13 kommentarer Add your own

  • 1. Alicia  |  oktober 29, 2012 kl. 11:19 am

    Very descriptive article, I liked that a lot. Will there be a
    part 2?

  • 2. how can i get free dental work  |  december 7, 2012 kl. 6:08 pm

    It’s not my first time to go to see this site, i am browsing this site dailly and get pleasant data from here everyday.

  • 3. Foot Bath  |  januar 8, 2013 kl. 10:23 am

    I just couldn’t leave your website prior to suggesting that I actually loved the standard information an individual provide to your guests? Is going to be back steadily to check out new posts

  • Great info, Cheers.

  • 5. more resources  |  februar 22, 2013 kl. 1:27 am

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. However think about if
    you added some great graphics or videos to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with
    pics and video clips, this blog could definitely be one of the very best in its niche.
    Awesome blog!

  • 6. Hector  |  marts 22, 2013 kl. 11:40 am

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is
    an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  • 7. coupons  |  april 9, 2013 kl. 11:50 pm

    Wow, this article is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of things, therefore I am going to tell

  • 8. business ideas  |  april 23, 2013 kl. 6:02 pm

    It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run
    and it’s time to be happy. I have learn this put up and if I may just I want to counsel you few attention-grabbing things or advice. Maybe you could write subsequent articles relating to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  • 9. financial advisor marketing  |  juni 19, 2013 kl. 1:14 pm

    Can I just say what a comfort to find someone who genuinely knows what they’re talking about online. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people should check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you’re not
    more popular since you most certainly possess the gift.

  • 10. Photographers in Miami Beach  |  juni 20, 2013 kl. 3:05 pm

    Normally I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice post.

  • 11. Click It  |  juli 16, 2013 kl. 1:42 am

    Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I
    was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha
    plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding
    one? Thanks a lot!

  • 12. web page  |  juli 19, 2013 kl. 4:56 pm

    I like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.

  • 13. site  |  august 1, 2013 kl. 2:41 pm

    Excellent blog right here! Additionally your web
    site quite a bit up very fast! What web host are
    you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink to your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

Skriv et svar

Udfyld dine oplysninger nedenfor eller klik på et ikon for at logge ind: Logo

Du kommenterer med din konto. Log Out / Skift )

Twitter picture

Du kommenterer med din Twitter konto. Log Out / Skift )

Facebook photo

Du kommenterer med din Facebook konto. Log Out / Skift )

Google+ photo

Du kommenterer med din Google+ konto. Log Out / Skift )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

RSS Twitter Status

  • Der er opstået en fejl - feedet er sikkert nede. Prøv igen senere.

%d bloggers like this: