Environmental legislation
Chubb Commercial Insurance

Recent changes in environmental legislation

Environmental liability directive – What it means for your business

The European Directive on Environmental Liability (2004/35/EC) seeks to achieve the prevention and remedying of environmental damage. In particular, damage to habitats and species protected by EC law or on a site of special scientific interest. In addition it covers damage to water resources, and land contamination which presents a threat to human health. The authorities in the UK who monitor environmental damage include the Environment Agency, Marine and Fisheries Agency, Countryside Council and Local Authorities.

The regulations are based on the “polluter pays” principle – so those responsible prevent and remedy environmental damage instead of the taxpayer. Your current liability policy may not cover for environmental damage.

Your responsibilities under the directive means you must:

  • Take steps to prevent damage or further damage and notify the relevant authority
  • Provide information and undertake preventive and remedial measures as required by the authority
  • Submit proposals for remediation
  • Pay any costs claimed by the authority in relation to environmental damage

For more information on environmental legislation the following links may be of use: