Thursday, October 06, 2005

Part II – Responsibility Issues - After-treatment measure responsibility under the Swedish Environmental Code

After-treatment measures
  • Environmental damage requiring clean-up and after-treatment is considered to have occurred when pollution may cause detriment to human health or the environment. The rules covering after-treatment of contaminated sites can be found in Chapter 10 of the Swedish Environmental Code and are mainly based on the Polluter Pays Principle.  

  • The party who carries the liability for the pollution must, to a reasonable extent, also perform or pay for investigations of the possible pollution and then for the after-treatment measures necessary to counteract damage or detriment to health or the environment.

Responsible parties
  • According to Chapter 10, it is primarily the operator, former or present, conducting the environmentally hazardous activity, which is responsible for the clean-up of the pollution. In case of several operators contributing to the pollution, they are held jointly and severally responsible.

  • It is possible to hold persons or legal entities which can be considered as holding controlling interest over the actual operator as a liable party. I will revert to this question in a later post.

  • If none of the operators can perform or pay for restoration and after-treatment measures, then the landowner is liable in the second instance provided that the landowner when purchasing the land was neither aware of the pollution nor should have been aware of it.

  • If the person responsible cannot be identified or is insolvent, the public pays for the after-treatment.

The next post will cover “Purchase of shares”

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