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Soil Protection in French Environmental Law

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

In France the absence of a comprehensive soil protection system was in part compensated by public policies issued by the Ministry for Environment and environmental authorities. The effect of these policies was to establish pollution prevention and monitoring criteria as well as public registers for (potentially) polluted industrial sites. The industrial regime (Installations Classées pour la Protection de l'Environment, 'ICPE') has been a key instrument in the development of soil protection, not only in the context of prevention but also in terms of liability for soil contamination which, in the absence of specific legislation, has relied on other liability regimes. The last fifteen years has also seen a rash of often contradictory case law, in particular concerning the definitions of liable persons and remediation levels. However, these definitions, in particular concerning liable persons, appear to have been settled by recent case law.

Affiliations: 1: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Paris


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