Responsibility for damages resulting from environmental damage is stipulated in the Act on Compensation for Environmental Damage. In addition, provisions on certain sectors can be found in special legislation. An environmental damage is defined as a loss, caused by activities carried out in a certain area and resulting from:
pollution of the water, air or soil,
noise, vibration, radiation, light, heat or smell, or
other similar nuisance.
The party whose activities have caused the environmental damage is liable for the damage (polluter pays). Additionally liability for the damage may be passed on to the new owner in change of ownership of a business or activity, if the buyer knew or should have known, at the time of the assignment, about the loss or damage.
Liability for environmental damage is so-called strict liability, thus the business responsible for the environmental damage is liable for the damage regardless of negligence or carelessness. Therefore even a business which has operated with due care may become responsible for an environmental damage caused by its activities.
In order to gain compensation the person suffering the loss must prove a probable causal link between the activity and the loss. The damages to be compensated can be versatile. The claim for damages is a civil action so the claim is performed through summons in the local district court.