The following are the criteria referred to in definition of “environmental damage” in the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage Regulations. These are included in the regulations’ Schedule I.
The significance of any damage that has adverse effects on reaching or maintaining the favourable conservation status of habitats or species has to be assessed by reference to the conservation status at the time of the damage, the services provided by the amenities they produce and their capacity for natural regeneration.
Significant adverse changes to the baseline condition should be determined by means of measurable data such as:
- The number of individuals, their density or the area covered;
- The role of the particular individuals or of the damaged area in relation to the species or to the habitat conservation, the rarity of the species or habitat (assessed at local, regional and higher level including at Community level);
- The species’ capacity for propagation (according to the dynamics specific to that species or to that population), its viability or the habitat’s capacity for natural regeneration (according to the dynamics specific to its chara cteristic species or to their populations);
- The species or habitat’s capacity, after damage has occurred, to recover within a short time, without any intervention other than increased protection measures, to a condition which leads, solely by virtue of the dynamics of the species or habitat, to a condition deemed equivalent or superior to the baseline condition.
Damage with a proven effect on human health must be classified as significant damage.
The following does not have to be classified as significant damage:
- Negative variations that are smaller than natural fluctuations regarded as normal for the species or habitat in question;
- Negative variations due to natural causes or resulting from intervention relating to the normal management of sites, as defined in habitat records or target documents or as carried on previously by owners or operators;
- Damage to species or habitats for which it is established that they will recover, within a short time and without intervention, either to the baseline condition or to a condition which leads, solely by virtue of the dynamics of the species or habitat, to a condition deemed equivalent or superior to the baseline condition.
Additional Information and Links:
- National Regulations
- Addressing the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage
- Environmental Damage
- Remedying of Environmental Damage
- Environmental Liability Directive
- Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage Regulations
- EU’s ELD Website
- Information Factsheet
- Summary of the Environmental Liability Directive
- ELD Training Material
- Malta’s Implementation Report
- Questions and Answers on the Environmental Liability Directive
- Read more about Environmental Liability