Pollution has been costly for some time, and even more so if the recommendations of the competent authorities are not taken into account. For several years there has been a law that establishes rules based on The Polluter Pays principle, stipulated in the 2004/35/CE directive of the European Commission.
This regulation establishes that companies that cause damage or are responsible for environmental problems must take responsibility for them, and/or take the necessary preventive or restorative measures.
Precedents and background
For several years the EU has been working on laws and regulations that favor the environmental and social conditions of the territory, in order to improve the quality of life of people and encourage activities that mitigate damage to the environment and natural resources. It also aims to stimulate the use of renewable energies and to be more efficient in the management of resources and waste.
“In the EU as a whole, 26% of groundwater bodies have not yet reached “good chemical status”; and about 60% of surface waters (rivers, lakes and transitional and coastal waters) are not in good chemical and ecological status”. According to the “Polluter Pays” report
It is for this and other reasons that since 1972 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has worked with this premise, <the polluter pays> to grant responsibilities, avoid major environmental damage and promote better use of natural resources.
Application of the regulation
This regulation has a scope of application from two main scenarios; the first one refers when environmental damages are caused by activities related to the energy industry, metal production and manufacturing, mining industry, chemical industry, among other industries.
The other front is related when environmental damages are produced to protected species and natural habitats (or there is an imminent threat of such damages), by activities different from the first scenario.
This law which is already in force since 2007 in most countries of the Union and was amended in 2019 in the amending Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 where it adapts and rationalizes the obligations in the field of environmental legislation in order to update and have a consensus of the meaning of <environmental damage>.
Actions and responsibilities for polluting
In the event that damage has already been caused or is imminent, responsibilities should be granted immediately, the directive establishes three main categories of obligation of operators:
- Where environmental damage is imminent, preventive measures must be taken immediately in order to mitigate the problems that occur.
- In the case where damage has already occurred, companies must take immediate measures to control, contain, eliminate or deal with these problems so that the effects are limited or avoided as much as possible.
- As in the second case, if the damage is already done, companies or operators must take appropriate remedial measures and must be submitted to the competent authority for approval.
SPR committed to the environment
SPR Group is a company committed to the environment and with a focus on corporate social responsibility. We provide advice and help other companies to manage waste, with technological support, consultancy, engineering, etc.
Our main objective as a company is to offer complete and integrated services for waste management through different mechanisms and specialization that help optimize resources that ultimately benefit the environment.