As a company, you may come into contact with environmental law if you are dealing with the emission of gases, the disposal of waste products or the contamination of water. With the aid of environmental legislation, laid down in, for example, the Environmental Management Act, the Environmental Law General Provisions Act and in 2021 the Environmental Act, the government is trying to combat pollution and protect the quality of the soil, air and water. The emphasis is now however no longer only on ‘classic’ environmental care with often clearly visible problems, but also on the more integrated transitions to a sustainable society. This means that the legal frameworks and their enforcement by the government will increasingly focus on internal system changes, also with regard to companies.
In the future, in the context of a sustainable society, the following strategic core tasks will play an important role in environmental policy, namely:
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Part of this is the design of the law, in other words the formulation of policy that takes into account the burden of human activities on nature and the environment. In other words, various laws and regulations in the field of environmental law can be expected in the future.
Which environmental laws currently apply to your company and therefore the question of whether you will have to deal with the inspection service of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) that checks the companies for abuses and violations of current environmental laws and inspects depends on the degree to which your company has an impact on the environment and therefore the type of your company. In the Netherlands, three categories of companies are distinguished:
When an OBM is requested for a specific activity, the competent authority, usually the municipality, will assess the activity in question before the company starts it. This is followed by a consent or a refusal.
When it concerns companies within category C, these companies must in any case apply for an environmental permit for their business activities. Without such an environmental permit, it is forbidden to set up an establishment or mining work, to change (its operation) or to operate it. Before the environmental permit is granted, the following conditions must be met:
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