The Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government has published the European Communities (Environmental Liability) Regulations 2008 which are effective from 1 April 2009 and give effect to Directive 2004/35/EC.

The purpose of the Directive is to prevent and remedy environmental damage and to hold operators whose activities have caused environmental damage financially liable for remedying this damage. The Directive aims to hold those whose activities have caused an imminent threat of environmental damage liable for taking preventive actions.

It is understood that further provisions of the Directive will be given effect in a forthcoming Environmental Liability Bill.