Business liability and remedying damage to the environment

Summary

Description

 

In addition to the state’s obligation to protect the environment, private sector firms are required to develop a set of actions dealing with environmental issues. Especially, in the case of firms involved in hazardous activities, they may be held responsible even if they are not directly at fault.


The Greek Ombudsman pushed for the implementation of the new legal framework, especially in incidences of environmental pollution, landscape degradation, contamination of underground or surface waters and infringement of environmental regulations. Thus, in the case of uncontrolled dumping of toxic waste in the Kaminia area of Piraeus, the Greek Ombudsman’s intervention led to securing a budget of €450,000 for its removal and safe disposal.


In the case of an abandoned asbestos plant in the former municipality of Rio, the local decentralized administration, in order to avoid local community reaction, instead of constructing a landfill site on the factory plot, decided to remove the hazardous waste material and ship it abroad. However due to the high cost of this solution, the bank owning the plant refused to pay; thus the problem has not yet been resolved.


In the case of dangerous waste disposal in the area of Ritsona, in the region of Evoia, chemical analyses of water samples showed high concentrations of hexavalent chromium as well as zinc. The Greek Ombudsman’s intervention secured the appropriate budget for a sanitation and rehabilitation project.


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