Environmental Damage

Definition of the Act

Act No. 167/2008 Coll., on the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage and on the Amendment of Certain Acts of 22 April 2008 entered into force on 17 August 2008.

Act No. 167/2008 Coll., on the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage and on the Amendment of Certain Acts (hereinafter the Act) transposes Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage into the legal system of the Czech Republic.

The Act defines the obligations to prevent or remedy environmental damage.

The Act states that environmental damage is only such damage that is measurable and has serious adverse effects on certain natural resources, i.e. protected species of wildlife and wild plants and their natural habitats, surface or groundwater and soil. The Act sets out the conditions under which persons it applies to (entrepreneurs and other persons carrying out risky operational activities – Annex 1 of the Act) are obliged to take preventive (if there is a direct threat of environmental damage) or corrective (in the event of environmental damage) measures.

Principles of the Act
Prevention principle – if there is a direct threat of environmental damage, the operator of the selected activities is obliged to carry out the necessary preventive measures, bear the costs associated with them and inform the pertinent state administration authority. The competent authority may impose preventive measures, stipulate their conditions and set a deadline for implementing them.

Polluter pays principle  – the operator whose activities have caused environmental damage, or the direct threat of such damage, is to be held financially liable; i.e. operators are required to take measures and develop procedures to reduce the risk of environmental damage arising so that the risk of their financial liability is reduced.

Natural restitution principle – when remedying a state of contamination, remedial measures are preferred over monetary compensation and emphasis is placed on effective decontamination and restoration or replacement of the damaged natural resource by restoring or returning it to its original state or moving it in a direction towards that state.

Objective liability principle – the obligation to prevent or remedy environmental damage is based on this principle. A significant change brought by this Act compared 

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