Environment—Germany—Q&A guide
Environment—Germany—Q&A guide

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environment—Germany—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to the environment?
  • 2. Is there a system of integrated control of pollution?
  • 3. What are the main characteristics of the rules applicable to soil pollution?
  • 4. What types of waste are regulated and how?
  • 5. What are the main features of the rules governing air emissions?
  • 6. How are fresh water and seawater, and their associated land, protected?
  • 7. What are the main features of the rules protecting natural spaces and landscapes?
  • 8. What are the main features of the rules protecting flora and fauna species?
  • 9. What are the main features of the rules governing noise, odours and vibrations?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to environment in Germany published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: August 2020).

Authors: Enderle Environmental Law—Bettina Enderle; Julia Neutzner

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to the environment?

Environmental legislation in Germany is mostly determined either by directly applicable EU regulations (eg, on chemicals, waste shipments or food contact materials) or EU directives requiring national implementation, such as most product, nature conservation or water quality regulations. This is to avoid ‘environmental dumping’ across the European Union (ie, production relocation in EU member states with less environmental enforcement).

German environmental regulations primarily concern soil and water protection, nature protection and mining laws (eg, gas underground storage, submarine cables and geothermal installations).

Environmental protection has been set out in the Constitution as a government objective since 1994. Environmental protection rights, however, cannot directly be derived from the Constitution, but only from the relevant environmental laws. The adoption of a comprehensive and uniform Environmental Code failed in 2009 and has not been pursued further since. As a result, industrial operators are subject to the relevant EU, federal, state and sometimes local regulations.

2. Is there a system of integrated control of pollution?

There is a system of integrated control of pollution regarding industrial and other activities that are prone to cause environmental impacts

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