Civil Liability for Environmental Damages

AuthorDaniela Ciochina
PositionSenior Lecturer, PhD, Christian University 'Dimitrie Cantemir', Romania
Legal Sciences
Civil Liability for Environmental Damages
Daniela Ciochin
Abstract: We debated in this article the civil liability for environmental damages as stipulated in our
legislation with reference to Community law. The theory of legal liability in environmental law is based
on the duty of all citizens to respect and protect the environment. Considering the importance of
environment in which we live, the liability for environmental damages is treated by the Constitution as a
principle and a fundamental obligation. Many human activities cause environmental da mages and, in line
with the principle of sustainable development, they should be avoided. However, when this is not
possible, they must b e regulated (by criminal or administrative law) in order to limit their a dverse effects
and, according to the polluter pays principle, to internalize in advance their externalities (through taxes,
insurances or other forms of financial security products). Communication aims to analyze these issues and
legal regulations dealing with the issue of liability for environmental damage.
Keywords: ecological damage; environmental protection; environmental damage; act of guilt; liability
for environmental prejudice
Civil liability for environmental damages is a way to apply the “polluter pays” principle from the
Treaty establishing the European Community. Its application is defined by Directive no.35 of 2004.
The directive states that the environmental damages can be covered by the remedy, which in case of
damage to water, protected species or natural habitats, consists in reintegration measures aimed at
restoring the damaged natural resources, ecological and human public services to initial state (primary
remediation) or compensation measures if primary reabilitation does not lead to a complete restoration
(complementary remediation
) and compensation measures for interim losses of natural resoaurces and
ecological and human services provided (remedial compensation
). In case of damage to soil, the
remediation consists in soil decontamination until there is no significant risk of affecting human
The environmental degradation is today one of the major problems of mankind. Environmental
protection is a matter of national interest, being an obligation of authorities, central and local
government, and all the individuals and business organisations.
The operational need to protect the natural environment has lead components of a complex of specific
legal rules. Civil liability for ecological damages apply to environmental damages and for risk of
damage due to commercial activities, since can be linked between the damage and activity.
Senior Lec turer, PhD, Christian University “Dimitrie Cantemir”, Romania, Address: 176 Splaiul Unirii, Sector 4,
Bucharest, Romania, Tel.: +4(021)330.79.00, Corresponding author:
EC Directive 35/2004 does not propose any material compensation for environmental damage. Can compensate the costs to
restore impaired natural resources and public services provided.
The goal of complementary remediation is to provide additional repair a global natural resources and / or services, also to an
alternative site, similar to those that would have been provided if the site was damaged, aiming to return to state original.
Where possible and appropriate alternative site should be geographically linked to the damaged site, taking into account the
interests of the affected population. First, will be considered measures providing resources and / or services of the same type,
quality and quantity of the damaged and secondly, other resources / services at least equivalent to those damaged.
Purpose of remedial compensation is to improve natural habitats and species of damaged site.

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