The EU Environmental Liability Directive was recently adopted into domestic law. The amendments and new provisions to put the directive into effect are incorporated into Chapter 10 of the Swedish Environmental Code. A new ordinance on serious environmental damage has also entered into force.
The Environmental Code states that persons who pursue or have pursued an activity or have taken a measure that causes damage to the environment shall be responsible for remediation to the extent deemed reasonable. In a surprising decision the Superior Environmental Court has found that the code included a requirement to investigate existing contamination during an ongoing activity.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has issued the Regulations on Environmental Reports as a result of the adoption of the EU European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Regulation. In light of the differences between the EU regulation and the Swedish regulations, there is a risk that a conflict between the rules might arise.
The Environmental Code sets forth general rules of consideration with which any person or entity pursuing an activity under the code must comply. Among these is the requirement to possess the necessary knowledge to protect human health and the environment. The Supreme Court has recently considered whether the knowledge requirement should be among the conditions set forth in environmental permits.
Under the environmental legislation, environmentally hazardous activities are categorized as A, B or C activities. In order to stimulate investment in wind power generation, the government has amended the C category to include wind farms with a combined power output of up to 25 megawatts. This update reviews the main differences between the relevant application and notification procedures.
The government has recently proposed amendments to the legislation on emissions trading. The amendments will fully implement the EU Linking Directive. One of the most important changes will be the application of the Emissions Trading Act not only to emissions of carbon dioxide, but also to other greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol.
Sweden's environmental quality objectives comprise a long-term, ecologically sustainable plan for the environment and for natural and cultural resources. The Environment Objectives Council recently issued a progress report on whether Sweden is on target to meet these objectives. Implementation of the Water Framework Directive is also underway.
A proposal for a directive to establish a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the European Union is in its final stages. In line with this, a Swedish commission has reported on the principles which will apply to the allocation of allowances during the initial period of the trading scheme.
Half of the 1,000 installations in Sweden covered by the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive hold permits which are not considered to fulfil its provisions. It has been proposed that these operators declare to inspection authorities how they comply with the relevant legislation, so that the authorities may determine whether further permit conditions are necessary.
The third report of the Environmental Code Committee was recently released. It proposes amendments to the Environmental Code in order to incorporate the Water Framework Directive and the substantive obligations set out in a Water Administration Committee report. It also proposes that the general rules of consideration be amended to include provisions on environmental quality.
A committee report considering the implementation of the Water Framework Directive has proposed that Sweden be divided into five water districts, each controlled by a water authority. The committee has also suggested a model for a system of water charges through which all water users would assume financial responsibility for their actions.
The second part of a review of the new Environment Code has been released. The Environmental Code Committee proposes amendments to the provisions on land and water use, control fees, penalties and the procedure for issuing permits. It also recommends guidance for local and regional authorities when implementing the general rules of consideration.
The Swedish Parliament has passed the so-called ‘Emergency Bill’, which contains several amendments to the Environmental Code. These include new requirements for environmental impact assessments and simplified procedures for imposing fines.
Recent legislative matters in Sweden include the prohibition of the use and sale of ammunition containing lead, and new requirements for running cold engines.
Including: The Environmental Code; General Provisions; Permits; Supervision; Remediation of Polluted Areas; Environmental Sanction Charges.
During the Swedish presidency of the European Union the introduction of new national environmental legislation was not given the highest priority. Consequently, much of the national development during 2001 was limited to implementing various EU directives. The pace has now been picked up. This update describes recent and proposed legislation.
Including: General Rules; Environmental Quality Norms; Permit Requirements; Hazardous Activities; Courts; Intervention by Supervisory Authorities; Sanction Charges; Penal Provisions; Clean-Up Insurance; Clean-Up Liability; Environmental Risk Areas; Implications of the New Code