Legal Alert – Substantial Fundamental Changes Proposed to Secondary Environmental Liability Systems
The Ministry of the Environment requests opinions in respect of the report of the committee for developing secondary environmental liability systems (toissijaisia ympäristövastuujärjestelmiä kehittävä työryhmä). Opinions may be submitted until 5 November 2014.
The report describes and evaluates the current secondary environmental liability systems, as well as different alternatives for developing such systems. Based on these evaluations, the committee proposes that the environmental liability insurance system is replaced by a liability model based on tax revenues.
The committee proposes clarifications to the security requirements for waste handling operations. The committee also proposes that one Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (“ELY Centre”) specializes in waste securities or alternatively, that a cooperation network of ELY Centres is established.
The report also handles the security requirements of the Mining Act, but concludes that a possible need for development cannot be assessed until an established practice has been formed and concrete experiences have been acquired with regards to the security.
Moreover, new regulation is called for as regards the competence of authorities in using the funds collected in connection with the proposed new secondary liability system. Such regulation should include means for the authorities to undertake immediate measures when direct risks for damages or health or safety risks arise e.g. from dangerous chemicals.