EP committee insists on giving business ways to limit environmental liability

The EP legal affairs committee adopted the
report drafted by Toine Manders for the Parliament’s second
reading on the environmental liability

Voting on 2 December 2003, the EP Legal Affairs Committee
adopted several amendments on the Council's common position
on environmental liability.

One key demand of the committee is that companies should
not be required to bear the cost of environmental damage
when the company which caused the damage holds a permit or
where the company's activities were believed to be safe for
the environment according to scientific and technical
knowledge at the time of the damage.

Other key amendments include:

  • tighter deadlines for the introduction of a regime of
    mandatory insurance;
  • more binding wording to ensure that the competent
    administrative authority takes preventive and remedial
    actions (in cases where the operator fails to act or
    cannot be identified);
  • where environmental damage is caused by more than one
    operator "(multiple party causation"), Member States
    should be required to allocate costs to different
    operators "on a fair and reasonable basis".

The European Parliament will vote for its second reading on
this issue during the 15-18 December plenary session in



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