This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Environmental liability applies to environmental damage and the risk of damage resulting from commercial activities once it is possible to establish a causal link between the damage and the activity in question. Environmental damage may be direct or indirect damage caused to the aquatic environment, flora and fauna and natural habitats protected by the Natura 2000 network, as well as direct or indirect contamination of the soil, which could lead to a serious risk to human health.
Environmental liability is an application of the ‘polluter pays’ principle as set out in Article 191(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Arrangements for applying it are set out in Directive 2004/35/EC.
Two systems of liability have been created: