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Verksamhetsutövarens ansvar för föroreningar som har skett före den 1 juli 1969

Gustafsson, Matilda LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Sedan miljöbalken trädde i kraft den 1 januari 1999 har ett antal rättsfall kommit vilka behandlar verksamhetsutövares ansvar för föroreningar som har skett före det datum då miljöskyddslagen trädde i kraft den 1 juli 1969. I 8§ i lagen om införande av miljöbalken är frågan om under vilka förutsättningar en verksamhetsutövare är ansvarig för gamla föroreningar tydlig; utövaren är ansvarig om den miljöfarliga verksamhetens faktiska drift pågått efter den 30 juni 1969 och verkningarna av verksamheten alltjämt pågår vid tiden för miljöbakens ikraftträdande samt att det finns ett behov att vidta avhjälpandeåtgärder.

I praxis har dock tillämpningen av denna regel inte varit lika tydlig. I ett antal rättsfall som har kommit sedan miljöbalken... (More)
Sedan miljöbalken trädde i kraft den 1 januari 1999 har ett antal rättsfall kommit vilka behandlar verksamhetsutövares ansvar för föroreningar som har skett före det datum då miljöskyddslagen trädde i kraft den 1 juli 1969. I 8§ i lagen om införande av miljöbalken är frågan om under vilka förutsättningar en verksamhetsutövare är ansvarig för gamla föroreningar tydlig; utövaren är ansvarig om den miljöfarliga verksamhetens faktiska drift pågått efter den 30 juni 1969 och verkningarna av verksamheten alltjämt pågår vid tiden för miljöbakens ikraftträdande samt att det finns ett behov att vidta avhjälpandeåtgärder.

I praxis har dock tillämpningen av denna regel inte varit lika tydlig. I ett antal rättsfall som har kommit sedan miljöbalken trädde i kraft har domstolen tagit ställning till i vilken utsträckning verksamhetsutövare skall bli ansvariga för gamla föroreningar.

Frågan om verksamhetsutövares ansvar för gamla föroreningar har varit uppe till diskussion flera gånger tidigare t.ex. i Klippanmålet som kom 1996, i samband med att man arbetade med att ta fram miljöbalken. I Klippanmålet blev utgången överraskande för många eftersom domstolen valde att låta en verksamhetsutövare gå fri från ansvar för gamla föroreningar trots att lagen vid den tiden sa att verksamhetsutövare var skyldiga att vidta avhjälpandeåtgärder även efter det att verksamheten hade upphört. Lagen hade några år tidigare ändrats och ett nytt stycke som uttryckligen sa att avhjälpandeansvaret kvarstår även efter det att verksamheten upphört, hade lagts till. Många menade dock att detta hade gällt i praxis tidigare och att tillägget endast utgjorde ett förtydligande av gällande rätt. Domstolen menade däremot att det skulle innebära en otillåten retroaktiv lagtillämpning om man tillämpade den nya lydelsen av lagen på fallet i fråga och valde att tillämpa den gamla lydelsen.

Jurister runt om i Sverige debatterade kring Klippandomen och ställde sig frågan om verksamhetsutövare till avslutade eller överlåtna verksamheter nu skulle vara fria från ansvar för de föroreningar som skett före det datum då lagen hade förtydligats?

Regeringen reagerade på Klippandomen och för att markera vad som skulle gälla införde de en övergångsbestämmelse till miljöbalken, vilken beskrivs ovan. Lagrådet kritiserade lagförslaget och hänvisade till domstolens resonemang i Klippandomen men fick inte något gehör av regeringen.

Den första januari 1999 trädde miljöbalken i kraft, vilken i princip utgjordes av en sammanställning av de gamla miljölagarna. Några år senare kom Klosterfallet där verksamhetsutövaren Kloster hade bedrivit miljöfarlig verksamhet på en fastighet från början av 1900-talet fram till 1974. Inriktningen på produktionen hade förändrats flera gånger under denna period men man kunde konstatera att verksamheten hade givit upphov till föroreningar fram till 1961. Trots att den del av verksamheten som gav upphov till föroreningarna hade upphört före 1969 kom Miljööverdomstolen fram till att Kloster var ansvarig för att utföra markundersökningar.

Efter Klosterfallet kom flera rättsfall där domstolen förde liknande resonemang i domskälen. År 2009 kom dock ett rättfall med en annan utgång. Stora Enso hade bedrivit verksamhet mellan åren 1914 och 1984. 1966 ändrades produktionsinriktningen från tillverkning av sulfitmassa till spånskivetillverkning. År 2007 upptäckte man att sulfitmassetillverkningen hade förorenat marken. Miljööverdomstolen menade att sulfitmassetillverkning och spånskivetillverkning utgjorde två skilda tekniska processer och att det därför inte var fråga om en och samma verksamhet. Därmed skulle den faktiska driften av verksamheten som orsakat föroreningarna inte ansetts ha pågått efter den 30 juni 1969 och Stora Enso skulle gå fri från ansvar.

Dessa, för mig något motsägelsefulla, rättsfall ledde till denna uppsats vars syfte är att beskriva under vilka förutsättningar en verksamhetsutövare är ansvarig för föroreningar som har skett före den 1 juli 1969. Jag har också undersökt omfattningen av ansvaret för föroreningar som har skett före detta datum. (Less)
Abstract
The Environmental Code (Miljöbalken) came into force 1 January 1999. Since then, there have been several legal cases that concern the operator’s liability for contaminated land. Some of these cases concern pollution that have occurred before 1 July 1969, when the Environmental Law (Miljöskyddslagen) came into force.

The Environmental Code and the Promulgation Law sets out clear conditions of liability for contaminated land that have occurred before 1 July 1969; the operator is liable if there have been some activity after 30 June 1969 that is harmful to the environment, if the effect of the activity was ongoing when the new Environmental Code came into force and if there is a need for taking remedial actions.

In case law, however,... (More)
The Environmental Code (Miljöbalken) came into force 1 January 1999. Since then, there have been several legal cases that concern the operator’s liability for contaminated land. Some of these cases concern pollution that have occurred before 1 July 1969, when the Environmental Law (Miljöskyddslagen) came into force.

The Environmental Code and the Promulgation Law sets out clear conditions of liability for contaminated land that have occurred before 1 July 1969; the operator is liable if there have been some activity after 30 June 1969 that is harmful to the environment, if the effect of the activity was ongoing when the new Environmental Code came into force and if there is a need for taking remedial actions.

In case law, however, the application has not been as clear. In a number of court cases, the court has answered the question “Under what conditions is the operator liable for old contaminations?”

The question of the operator´s liability for old contaminations has been discussed several times before, in connection with “Klippanmålet” (Klippan case). The case came in 1996 when the new Environmental Code was created and many people were surprised by the outcome of the case. The Court decided that the operator would not be liable for old contaminations, even though the law stipulated that the operator should be liable even after the activities have been closed. A couple of years earlier, in 1989, the law had been changed and a new part was introduced. The new text implied that the liability to take remedial actions would remain even after the activity had been closed. However, the majority believed that this rule had existed in case law before and that the aim of the amendment was merely to make a clarification. The Court in “Klippanmålet” believed that an application of the new law would constitute an impermissible retroactive application of the law. For this reason, they chose to apply the old law.

Lawyers began to discuss the outcome of the case. They wondered if the operator of a closed activity or an activity that had been sold, would be released, if the contamination could be derived from an earlier date than the day the law was changed.

The Government responded to the judgement by introducing a rule in the Promulgation Law (described above), to clarify the legal position. The Council of Legislation (Lagrådet) criticized the proposal made by the Government and referred to the grounds of the judgement in “Klippanmålet”. However, the comments made by the Council of Legislation did not affect the Government.

The Environmental Code came into force 1 January 1999. A few years later, “Klosterfallet” (Kloster case) came. The operator, Kloster, had practiced environmental hazardous activities from the beginning of the 20th century to 1974 and the focus of the production had been changed several times during this period. Contaminations were found in the 1980s and the Court found that Kloster was liable even though the contaminations could be derived from activities that were in use before 1961.

After this case there were several cases with the same grounds of the judgement, but in 2009 there was a new case called “Stora Enso” with a different outcome. The operator, Stora Enso, had practiced environmental hazardous activities from 1914 to 1984. In 1966, the focus of the production changed. In 2007, soil pollution was found which could be derived from the activity that was in use before 1966. The Court came to the conclusion that the activities that were in use before and after 1966 were different from a technical perspective and affected the soil with different kinds of pollution. Consequently, Stora Enso would not be responsible.

In my opinion, these court cases are contradictory and that is why I choose to write this essay and answer the question; under what conditions is an actor liable for pollution that has occurred before 1 July 1969?
I will also discuss how extensive the liability is. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gustafsson, Matilda LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The operator's liability for contaminated land - old contaminations
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
miljörätt, verksamhetsutövare, förorenade områden, faktisk drift
language
Swedish
id
1670892
date added to LUP
2010-09-15 15:37:32
date last changed
2010-09-15 15:37:32
@misc{1670892,
  abstract     = {The Environmental Code (Miljöbalken) came into force 1 January 1999. Since then, there have been several legal cases that concern the operator’s liability for contaminated land. Some of these cases concern pollution that have occurred before 1 July 1969, when the Environmental Law (Miljöskyddslagen) came into force. 

The Environmental Code and the Promulgation Law sets out clear conditions of liability for contaminated land that have occurred before 1 July 1969; the operator is liable if there have been some activity after 30 June 1969 that is harmful to the environment, if the effect of the activity was ongoing when the new Environmental Code came into force and if there is a need for taking remedial actions. 

In case law, however, the application has not been as clear. In a number of court cases, the court has answered the question “Under what conditions is the operator liable for old contaminations?”

The question of the operator´s liability for old contaminations has been discussed several times before, in connection with “Klippanmålet” (Klippan case). The case came in 1996 when the new Environmental Code was created and many people were surprised by the outcome of the case. The Court decided that the operator would not be liable for old contaminations, even though the law stipulated that the operator should be liable even after the activities have been closed. A couple of years earlier, in 1989, the law had been changed and a new part was introduced. The new text implied that the liability to take remedial actions would remain even after the activity had been closed. However, the majority believed that this rule had existed in case law before and that the aim of the amendment was merely to make a clarification. The Court in “Klippanmålet” believed that an application of the new law would constitute an impermissible retroactive application of the law. For this reason, they chose to apply the old law. 

Lawyers began to discuss the outcome of the case. They wondered if the operator of a closed activity or an activity that had been sold, would be released, if the contamination could be derived from an earlier date than the day the law was changed. 

The Government responded to the judgement by introducing a rule in the Promulgation Law (described above), to clarify the legal position. The Council of Legislation (Lagrådet) criticized the proposal made by the Government and referred to the grounds of the judgement in “Klippanmålet”. However, the comments made by the Council of Legislation did not affect the Government. 

The Environmental Code came into force 1 January 1999. A few years later, “Klosterfallet” (Kloster case) came. The operator, Kloster, had practiced environmental hazardous activities from the beginning of the 20th century to 1974 and the focus of the production had been changed several times during this period. Contaminations were found in the 1980s and the Court found that Kloster was liable even though the contaminations could be derived from activities that were in use before 1961.

After this case there were several cases with the same grounds of the judgement, but in 2009 there was a new case called “Stora Enso” with a different outcome. The operator, Stora Enso, had practiced environmental hazardous activities from 1914 to 1984. In 1966, the focus of the production changed. In 2007, soil pollution was found which could be derived from the activity that was in use before 1966. The Court came to the conclusion that the activities that were in use before and after 1966 were different from a technical perspective and affected the soil with different kinds of pollution. Consequently, Stora Enso would not be responsible.

In my opinion, these court cases are contradictory and that is why I choose to write this essay and answer the question; under what conditions is an actor liable for pollution that has occurred before 1 July 1969? 
I will also discuss how extensive the liability is.},
  author       = {Gustafsson, Matilda},
  keyword      = {miljörätt,verksamhetsutövare,förorenade områden,faktisk drift},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Verksamhetsutövarens ansvar för föroreningar som har skett före den 1 juli 1969},
  year         = {2010},
}