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Environment Law

  • We you actively contribute to the protection of our environment before authorities and courts. Pollutions and immissions (e.g. noise, dust, smell, vibrations, a detrimental change of natural drainage ratios) through industrial plants may also have a detrimental effect on the understanding between neighbors.
  • In many fold proceedings we have successfully represent the interests of neighbors towards the operators of industrial plants, power generation plants, electricity lines and measures concerning worker and waterways.

In administrative proceedings before the authorities concerning the initial administrative approval or the approval of changes of industrial plants with impacts on the environment, neighbors should communicate their concerns timely to the competent authorities. In case of an oral hearing, the neighbors should raise their objections before the oral hearing or in so-called „accelerated proceedings“ at the very beginning, i.e. immediately after publication, and articulate which emissions they expect (e.g. moisture, dust, smell, vibrations, or a detrimental change of natural drainage ratios).

For the purpose of documentation and efficient enforcement we recommend neighbors to communicate their concerns („objections“) formally in a written submission towards the competent authority.

In administrative proceedings concerning larger industrial plants the authorities will regularly perform oral hearings and officially notify the neighbors. In the oral hearings, the summoned neighbors may orally raise their objections and clarify their concerns. Parties to the oral hearings are advised to make sure that their objections are kept track of in the minutes. For persons not accustomed to legal affairs it‘s not always easy to articulate objections clear enough to ensure enforceability of the raised claims. Therefore, already at an early stage of administrative proceedings for approval for the construction work changes of an industrial plant, legal representation may be important in order to avoid a loss of claims and exclusion from future rights concerning the plant.

If neighbors will not raise their concerns and articulate the legally protected interest in the oral hearings at the latest substantially and into form, their future enforceability is highly restricted („preclusion“). In many cases and neighbor who failed to articulate his concerns may only object to emissions detrimental to the health, whereas merely annoying emissions may not be contested anymore.

In a case of criminal environmental pollution, concerned neighbors may adjoin the criminal proceedings against the operator of the plant in order to acquire more detailed knowledge of the kind and extent of the environmental pollution. The participation as victim to environmental pollution may be sensible for the preparation of damage claims or injunctions against the operator of the plant.

  • We enforce your interests as a neighbor for an efficient protection of the environment in your vicinity and protection of your property from immissions („imission control“). Our assistance is not restricted to representation in administrative proceedings, but also pertains to legal representation before the civil courts.

The courts provide protection against so-called „immissions non-customary in place“. In order to enforce protection against such emissions, the neighbors should not wait too long: after a certain time imissions and nuisances to the neighborhood may become „customary“.

If the operator of an industrial plant infringes on administrative obligations, operates a plant without prior approval or contrary to the terms of approval, neighbors may enforce legal protection via injunction. Neighbors are adjudicated damages against the plant operator as compensation for material losses.

Contact us rather earlier than later, at the best immediately upon taking note of formal summons in administrative proceedings for approval of the plant, in order to prevent immissions and protect your property.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you need information on legal protection and enforcement of claims against unlawful immission non-customary in your place!

Link:

https://www.bmwfw.gv.at/Unternehmen/Gewerbe/Seiten/GewerblichesUmweltrecht.aspx