Mediafax (Mediafax)
Laws  |  December 27, 2012 11:33:07

After five years will be fully performing law on environmental damage


PRAGUE (MEDIAFAX) - After a five-year delay will start from January performing certain provisions of the environmental damage. Many Czech companies must be financially protected from January preventive or corrective measures in case of environmental damage.

Tool such provision can be, for example insurance. This obligation applies to those operators who, based on risk assessment determines that its service activities may cause environmental damage, the compensation and costs associated with preventive measures exceed 20 million. The five-year delay was to give businesses time to prepare for the new duty.

Basic risk assessment must be carried out by all operators activities listed in the law. These are: landfills, incinerators or large industrial enterprises.Those who score at least 50 points to reach, are then obliged to carry out a detailed. The company is yet to be implemented by the end of 2012 so that the first January 2013, when the provisions take effect, were prepared.

For example, evaluation identifies sources of risk, endangered populations of animals and plants, and proposes appropriate measures, including their financial demands.

But the law also allows an exception for those operators who are registered in EMAS, have certified ISO 14001, or operators who demonstrably initiated steps to obtain such registration or certification. For those just easier basic risk assessment. These entrepreneurs are also exempt from the obligation to have financial security.

The law was adopted in 2008 provides that operators have selected activities in the event of an imminent threat of environmental damage, the obligation to perform the necessary preventive measures, which bear the associated costs. He must also inform the competent authority of the state administration, which may impose precautionary measures to determine their condition and set a deadline for their implementation.

It also introduced the principle of "polluter pays" principle. This means that an operator whose activity has caused environmental damage or the imminent threat of such harm, is financially responsible for it. That's what the state promises that operators will be forced to adopt measures and develop practices to minimize the risks of environmental damage to their exposure to financial liabilities is reduced.

In the case where the injury actually occurs, the operator is obliged to take corrective measures, ie primarily to restore the damaged environment to its original state, which prefers to act before a cash refund.

A significant change that law brought against previous legislation is that the remedy provided by the operator no longer his unlawful conduct. In the past, it was possible that if business activity created some ecological damage compensation paid state and not an entrepreneur who caused it. Enough for example, demonstrate that the occurrence of such injury acted unlawfully. Now just prove a causal link between operational activities and the development of environmental damage and therefore does not require proof of illegality and culpability on the intent or negligence.

Norma, however, allows that, in the case when the operator causes environmental damage, but does not break the law, he may be reimbursed the costs of corrective action.

For environmental damage being deemed only such injury that is measurable and has serious adverse effects on selected natural resources, a protected species of wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats, surface water or groundwater and soil.

Miroslav Kyncl, kyncl@mediafax.cz

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