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Directive 2004/35/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage.

Type of law
Date of original text

With a view to preventing and remedying environmental damage, the present Directive establishes a framework of environmental liability based on the "polluter-pays" principle. For the purposes of this Directive, environmental damage includes damage to protected species and natural habitats, water damage and land damage, as defined in Article 2. Article 3 defines the application scope, which encompasses the following: (a) environmental damage caused by any of the occupational activities listed in Annex III, and to any imminent threat of such damage occurring by reason of any of those activities; (b) damage to protected species and natural habitats caused by any occupational activities other than those listed in Annex III, and to any imminent threat of such damage occurring by reason of any of those activities, whenever the operator has been at fault or negligent. Articles 5 and 6 require Member States to adopt internal provisions as regards preventive action and remedial action to be taken by operators. According to articles 7 and 8, the operators shall identify potential remedial measures in accordance with Annex II and bear the costs for the preventive and remedial actions taken pursuant to this Directive.
The natural or legal persons (a) affected or likely to be affected by environmental damage or (b) having a sufficient interest in environmental decision making relating to the damage or, alternatively, (c) alleging the impairment of a right, where administrative procedural law of a Member State requires this as a precondition, shall be entitled to submit to the competent authority any observations relating to instances of environmental damage or an imminent threat of such damage of which they are aware and shall be entitled to request the competent authority to take action under this Directive (Article 12). This Directive sets out six annexes attached. Annex I lays down the criteria to be taken into consideration to assess the significance of adverse effects on protected species and natural habitats. Annex II sets out a common framework to be followed in order to choose the most appropriate measures to ensure the remediation of environmental damage.
Date of consolidation/reprint
Entry into force notes
This Directive entered into force on 30 April 2004.
Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 30 April 2007 at the latest.An unofficial consolidated version of the present Directive as amended last by Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 is attached.
Serial Imprint
Official Journal L 143, 30 April 2004, pp. 56-75.
Source language


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