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EU and International Laws

The EU Environmental Liability Directive and Other International Laws

The “European Union Directive on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage” (ELD) was adopted by the European Parliament on 21 April 2004 and focuses primarily on the prevention of environmental damage. The ELD, which embodies concepts similar to the natural resource damages regime under US law, makes Member States responsible for ensuring that “damage to water, land and biodiversity is either prevented, by taking appropriate measures in cases of imminent threats, or effectively remedied by restoring the previous condition if the damage has already been done”.

Transporters or disposers of waste and hazardous waste, companies whose operations have resulted in a discharge of dangerous substances or genetically modified organisms, as well as industries, need to be aware of the potential liability for environmental damage under the ELD. Liability for environmental damage under the ELD may arise from an accidental release of hazardous substance(s) that damages protected species or habitats, soil or water.

The text of the ELD can be found here.

Related Directives and Initiatives

Other International Laws

  • UK Environment Act 2021
  • For information on natural resource liability laws or regulations in a specific country, please contact us.