Polluter Pays: So it is better to prevent than remediate

The Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35/EC establishes a framework based on the “polluter pays” principle to prevent and remediate environmental damage.

  • The economic operator bears the financial consequences from harm or damage  caused to the environment

Where environmental damage has not yet occurred:

  • The operator shall, without delay, take measures to inform the competent authority of all aspects of the situation.

Where environmental damage has occurred:

  • All relevant authorities should be informed, and all practical steps taken in order to limit further environmental damage.
  • The operator is liable under the directive to bear the cost of the necessary preventative or remedial measures.
  • The competent authority may initiate cost recovery proceedings against the operator within five years of the remedial measures having been completed.

Source: EC.Europa.EU