Eftertanke och förutseende. En rättsvetenskaplig studie om ansvar och skyldigheter kring förorenade områden
Sammanfattning: This study examines legal issues concerning contaminated areas (land and water areas polluted by industrial or other human activities). It focuses on legal obligations on the various parties who have been involved in the activities causing the pollution, or in other ways are connected to such areas. Certain prerequisites determine the examination. First, the overriding aim is to discuss a legal basis for efficient remediation of contaminated areas that, as regards this specific environmental problem, could contribute to a sustainable development in the future. Secondly, as the problem with contaminated areas is immense, legal solutions must be subject to the limits of national economy. Thirdly, any proposed obligation must conform to the "Polluter Pays Principle" and must also be accepted as just and fair by the society. Fourthly, presumably the problems with contaminated areas will remain for a substantial period. Thus, on one hand the study concerns the liability of the polluter to remediate contamination in a way that eliminates the risks for man and the environment in the future. On the other hand, the discussion relates to the responsibilities of others than the polluter - typically the landowner - to prevent contaminants spreading into the surroundings. Fifthly, the discussions are based on the idea that public environmental authorities should possess efficient legal remedies in order to impose requirements on polluters and landowners to investigate and remediate contaminated areas. The methodology used in the study is environmental legal and comparative. Legal issues are defined and solutions are proposed taking into account both the specific environmental conditions and the results from a comparison of legal rules for contaminated areas in a number of European countries. The study includes two parts. The first part describes and analyses the legislation concerning contaminated areas in four different countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, United Kingdom (England and Wales) and Denmark. It also presents briefly the legislation in this area in some other European countries and the EC White Paper on environmental liability. The second part analyses and discusses certain typical legal "key-issues" related to the problem with contaminated areas. It first approaches certain basic legal issues related to the specifies of contaminated areas: the scope of legislation for contaminated areas, the ambition of environmental measures, the use of environmental quality standards ("trigger values"), the function and legal effects of registration, finally, the content and scope of the legal duties to investigate and remediate. After that follows a discussion of certain, especially important issues related to the management of contaminated areas: the difference between a public law perspective and a private law perspective, the liabilities and responsibilities of a polluter and a landowner and, finally, legal complications related to old pollution, in particular the question if a person could be held liable for pollution that occurred before a legal requirement to remediate contaminated areas entered into force (retroactivity).
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