On 15 October, Spain's Official State Journal (BOE) published Order TEC/1023/2019, of 10 October, which establishes the deadline to set up a compulsory financial guarantee as required by article 24 of Spain's Environmental Liability Law 26/2007, of 23 October, in respect of activities included in annex III of that law, which are classified as priority level 3 by Order ARM/1783/2011, dated 22 June.

The order establishes the deadline to set up a compulsory financial guarantee to secure operators performing one or more of the activities classified in annex III (of Law 26/2007) as priority level 3 against the environmental liability inherent to their business. Order APM/1040/2017, dated 23 October, had already established the respective deadlines for activities classified as priority levels 1 and 2.

The publication of this latest order completes the set of deadlines for putting in place compulsory financial guarantees, as established by the Fourth Final Provision of Law 26/2007 and in the annex to Order ARM/1783/2011. Those dates are:

  • Priority level 1 activities must have a compulsory financial guarantee in place by 31 October 2018.
  • Priority level 2 activities must have a compulsory financial guarantee in place by 31 October 2019.
  • Priority level 3 activities must have a compulsory financial guarantee in place by 16 October 2021, with the exception of intensive poultry and pig farming where the deadline is 16 October 2022.

The minimum security that an operator must set up is determined by the operator itself according to the severity and scope of the damage that its activity can cause, on the basis of the criteria, guidelines and scales established by Royal Decree 2090/2008, of 22 December. Once an operator has put in place the required financial guarantee, that operator will then have to submit a certificate of compliance to the relevant public authority as evidence that it has done so.

Finally, we should also remember that Law 26/2007 exempts operators performing the following activities from the obligation to provide a compulsory financial guarantee:

  • Operators at risk of causing damage which can be repaired at a cost of less than €300,000;
  • operators at risk of causing damage which can be repaired at a cost of between €300,000 and €2,000,000 and which provide evidence of their permanent and continuous membership to the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) or environmental management system (UNE-EN ISO 14001);
  • operators that use certain phytosanitary and biocidal products for agricultural, livestock and forestry purposes; and
  • any other operators established by regulations on the basis of their low potential for causing environmental damage and low accident rate.