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Rolf Vossenkämper, Summary in:

Rolf Vossenkämper

Grenzen der Gesamtrechtsnachfolge bei der Sanierung von Altlasten, page 200 - 200

1. Edition 2009, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-4048-5, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-1335-4 https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845213354

Series: Nomos Universitätsschriften - Recht, vol. 609

Bibliographic information
200 XI. Kapitel: Summary This thesis deals with the legal limitations on the calling of a successor of the causer of site contaminations to decontaminate a site pursuant to the German Federal Soil Protection Act (Bundes-Bodenschutzgesetz or BBodSchG, the “Act”). This legislation came into force on 1 March 1999. The most important provisions are Article 4 (3), which provides for the liability of the successor to clean up a contaminated site, and Article 10 (1), which provides the authorities with a right to enforce decontamination. The discussion begins with the interpretation of Articles 4 and 10 of the Act, using the four classical methods of interpretation under German law (grammatical, historical, systematic and teleologic interpretation). The thesis then analyses legal limits and problems resulting from German constitutional law (i.e. the federal legislator’s competence to enact laws relating to soil protection, Articles 2 (1) and 14 (1) of the German Constitution, the constitutional rule of ‘proportionality’ and legal problems surrounding the prohibition of retroactive legislation). The thesis examines the interpretation of the Act by the Federal Constitutional Court and the influence of the planned EU Directive establishing a framework for the protection of soil, the EU Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35/EC, the planned German Federal Ecological Damage Bill as well as the EU Waste Framework Directive 75/442/EC. The thesis emphasizes succession as a result of inheritance and through the splitting and merging of a corporation. It discusses legal limitations and problems deriving from all forms of succession into ownership of contaminated sites (i.e. limitations in time, authoritative waivers per agreement or a special procedure of exemption applicable to the new German Bundeslaender, forfeiture, official permission of the causing of decontamination and initiation of insolvency proceedings). The paper concludes that legal limitations to call upon a successor of a causer of contamination with respect to its responsibility to bear the costs of decontamination are difficult to predict for both successors and authorities. A political problem lies within the absence of a time limitation regarding the successor’s responsibilities under the Act. Generally, the problem of legal succession is inadequately regulated under administration law. In order to address these issues, the thesis suggests specific modifications to the Act as well as the German Administrative Procedure Act (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz).

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Zusammenfassung

Nach dem Bundes-Bodenschutzgesetz droht dem Gesamtrechtsnachfolger des Verursachers einer Altlast eine Ewigkeitshaftung mit ruinösen finanziellen Folgen. Das Werk untersucht umfassend, inwiefern sich rechtliche Grenzen für die Inanspruchnahme des Gesamtrechtsnachfolgers aus Verfassungs-, Europa- und einfachem Recht ergeben. Die Anwendbarkeit von Haftungsbeschränkungen für Erben und für Gesamtrechtsnachfolger im Gesellschaftsrecht wird ebenso behandelt wie Haftungsbegrenzungen aus allgemeinen Rechtsinstituten, insbesondere Verjährung, Verzicht und Verwirkung sowie bei unzureichender staatlicher Überwachung oder im Fall der Insolvenz. Darüber hinaus bietet der Autor eine rechtspolitische Bewertung der dargestellten Rechtsprobleme und konkrete Vorschläge, wie diese durch den Gesetzgeber gelöst werden können.