Investment land and it's pollution
Analysis of the legal situation regarding the responsibility for the pollution of the soil, water and air allows to unequivocally state, that in Poland the have complicated and inconsistent set of rules coming from different acts. This can be a cause of great difficulties in the interpretation of the law by the users of the environment, the land owners as well as the administrative authorities at various levels, from local to national.
In August 2014 an amendment was made to the Environment Protection Act, which introduced the concept of historical ground contamination, that is:
• pollution, which occured before 30 April 2007 or results from activity, which was finished before 20 April 2007,
• or damage to the environment (within the meaning of the „damages” Act) which was caused by an emission or an event from which it has been more than 30 years.
In accordance to the above mentioned amendment, the one who owns the ground, on which the historical ground contamination is found, is obliged to carry so called remediation, and thus is directly responsible for solving the problem of ground contamination problem. The process enabling the ground treatment is called remediation, which should be understood as subjecting the ground to operations aiming to remove or reduce in quantity, control and constrain the spread of substances causing the risk, so that the contaminated site no longer poses a risk to human health or the environment, taking into account the current and planned for the future land use.
Pay special attention to the fact that the rules do not include the possibility of releasing ruler of the land from the liability for the pollution of the soil, caused before 30 April 2007, by identifying the perpetrator. This solution is disadvantageous for both current and future land owners, especially affecting property buyers, which means that buying a lot one should estimate the risk of occurrence of problems associated with the contamination of the land. As a future owner of the land you will bear all costs associated with the remediation and restoration of the land to its original state. Under the so adversely constructed law, the investor who is considering the purchase of the lot, should carry out water and soil environment examination, confirming that the area is not loaded with any chemical compounds which can cause danger to life and health and the environment. In the case of gaining knowledge about the presence of contaminants on the subject area, the investor should estimate the cost of future work related to the remediation of the land, which in some cases may exceed the value of the lot.
Contaminated soil and water environment is an issue very difficult to consider because of the need for knowledge of aspects of the soil medium three—phase, ie. the skeleton of the soil, water and air as well as chemical compounds, which, depending on their physico-chemical properties, effect the surrounding environment in different ways. This means that one should pay attention to the new regulation on the conduct of the assessment of surface contamination of land from 5 September 2016. (Journal of Laws of 2016. Pos. 1395), which in no way refers to the air and groundwater, which under the complexity of the issues may lead to failure to achieve expected environmental effects, and thus the need to incur additional costs or claims of future owners of the land, ie. the inhabitants of the communities of newly built residential buildings.
The complexity of the issues of remediation of soil and groundwater with very restrictive law "Environmental Protection Act" (and other acts) means that only a company with extensive experience in the international arena can be a guarantor of conducting the remediation process so as to achieve the anticipated environmental effects.
List of current regulations:
• Directive 2004/35/WE on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage - the so-called. ELD,
• Directive 2010/75/UE on industrial emissions (the former IPPC - Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) - the so-called. IED,
• Environmental Protection Act of 27 April 2001,
• The Law on prevention of environmental damage and its repair, ie. Act "outstanding claims" of 13 April 2007,
• Waste Act of 14 December 2012.,
• Regulation of the Minister of Environment on 1 September 2016 on how to conduct the assessment of contamination of the ground,
• Regulation of the Minister of Environment dated 30 April 2008 on criteria for the assessment of damage to the environment,
• Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of 4 June 2008 on the types of corrective actions, and the conditions and means of how they are conducted,