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 EU Environmental Liability Directive (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. Is your company at risk?
The European Union (EU) "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. Industrial companies, including transporters or disposers of waste or hazardous waste, whose operations have resulted in the discharge of dangerous substances resulting in potential environmental damage to land, water and protected habitats and species may be subject to liability under the ELD.
In an effort to foster the reasonable, balanced and predictable implementation of the ELD across Europe, the Group has prepared numerous documents to elucidate and facilitate discussion on some of the complex issues posed by the ELD. Examples include the following:
Increasingly, resolution of environmental liabilities requires increased attention to broad initiatives (including the EU Europe 2020, Natura 2000), consideration of broader issues - including biodiversity and sustainability – and evaluation of opportunities available via optimization of natural capital, ecosystem service management, and enhancement of company-owned natural resources.
For further information, see www.EUELDPracticeExchange.com.
How the Group's Program Can Help
International Natural Resource Liability Regimes
US NRD Liability Regime