Permit defence may survive in EU liability law

Opposition softens to liability exemption for polluters operating within permit conditions

A controversial clause lightening the burden of liability for environmental damage from companies operating in line with pollution control permits may be working its way back into the draft EU liability directive, it has emerged.

Earlier this year EU environment ministers queued up to denounce the European Commission's last minute addition of the clause under industry pressure (EED 05/03/02). Environmentalists said the exemption would make the law virtually worthless.

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