The European directive no. 2004/35/EC from 21 April 2004, transposed into French law via law no. 2008-757 dated 01/08/2008, instated an environmental liability scheme that differs from the civil liability scheme for environmental prejudice to third parties.
Key principles of the European Directive:
- Environmental liability regarding the prevention and repair of environmental damage. This guarantee is specially dedicated to the environmental damages listed by the Directive and defined below.
- The environmental liability framework is based on the “polluter pays” principle.
Environmental damage is defined as a serious, negative and measurable modification of a natural resource (soil, water, protected species and natural habitats) or its ecological purpose.
Personal injury, damage to private property and economic loss are not taken into consideration.
Repairs can be of 3 types:
Primary: designates all repair measures thanks to which the damaged natural resources or deteriorated services return to their original state (or almost).
Complementary: designates all repair measures taken in consideration of the natural resources or services, to compensate for the fact that the primary repair did not lead to the full restoration of said natural resources or services.
Compensatory: designates any action taken to compensate for the intermediary loss of natural resources or services that may occur between the time of the damage and the time when the primary repair yields its full effect. The Prefect will oversee the implementation of these repair or prevention measures, required in the event of damage or threat of damage to the environment.
All professional activities are concerned, excluding the spreading for agricultural purposes of sewer sludge originating from urban waste water treatment plants.
The Directive has set out two levels of liability:
- Objective liability (without fault) for farmers working in fields considered dangerous by appendix 3 of the Directive
- For all other activities, fault-based liability is applicable solely to damage caused to protected species and natural habitats
To read law no. 2008-757 from 01/08/2008: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr.
We offer insurance for environmental liability, that covers:
- Personal injury, material and immaterial damage incurred by third parties
- Damage caused to assets
- Damage caused to attendants’ property
- Environmental liability
- Decontamination costs for movable and immovable property
- Decontamination costs for the soil and water