Environmental Liability Directive

The Environmental Liability Directive (2004/35/EC) is based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle.  It requires those operators whose activities pose an imminent threat of environmental damage to take preventive actions, and where such damage has occurred, to remediate it and cover the costs of these measures and any costs incurred by the competent authority (Environmental Protection Agency).

  • The fundamental objective of the Directive and associated Regulations is to prevent and remedy environmental damage.
  • There is an incentive for  operators to proactively assess their environmental risks and manage them in order to prevent environmental damage occurring.
  • The Regulations require operators to initiate preventive measures where there is an imminent threat of environmental damage occurring.
  • Proactive risk management involves the systematic review of business, operational and development activities that could pose a hazard and an  assessment of the sensitivities of the environment that could be impacted.