Volume 23 (2015) / Issue 6
Barbara Pozzo, Bernard Vanheusden, Lucas Bergkamp, Edward Brans, 'The Remediation of Contaminated Sites and the Problem of Assessing the Liability of the Innocent Landowner: A Comparative Law Perspective' (2015) 23 European Review of Private Law, Issue 6, pp. 1071–1119
Directive 2004/35/EC, environmental liability, landowner liability, soil pollution, soil and groundwater contamination, soil and groundwater remediation, remedial measures, liability of innocent landowners, innocent landowner defence, owners of contaminated land who did not cause or contribute to the pollution, ‘polluter pays’ principle, unjust enrichment.
Abstract: On 4 March 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU or Court) issued a preliminary ruling on the application of the Environmental Liability Directive (Directive 2004/35/EC; ELD). The ELD established an administrative law regime aimed at the prevention and remediation of environmental damage, including land (soil) damage. Case C-534/18 concerns soil pollution. The CJEU was asked whether the ELD permits Member States to order the owner of a polluted site to fund or to conduct safety and decontamination measures on that site even if they did not cause the pollution. This question is relevant in a comparative law perspective because Member States may impose more stringent provisions in relation to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage under the ELD, including the identification of additional activities subject to the prevention and remediation requirements of the Directive and the identification of additional responsible parties
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