The Environmental Liability Directive 2004
An operator is any person who operates or controls an occupational activity – an activity carried out for commercial purposes, such as a business development. The restrictions include damage to wildlife, water and the land.
Those who cause damage to species and habitats protected under the 1992 Habitats Directive and the 1979 Wild Birds Directive will now be responsible for their actions. This includes 'any damage that has significant adverse effects on reaching or maintaining the favourable conservation status of such habitats or species'.
Water damage is classed as 'any damage that significantly adversely affects the ecological, chemical and/or quantitative status and/or ecological potential, as defined in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, of the waters concerned'.
Damage to land is 'any land contamination that creates a significant risk of human health being adversely affected as a result of the direct or indirect introduction, in, on or under land, of substances, preparations, organisms or micro-organisms'.
The Environmental Liability Directive is also known as Council Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage.