Complex tasks such as remediation can only be tackled if all parties work toward the solution, which is stated by the Contaminated Sites Ordinance.
The actual polluter and the authorities are by no means the only parties affected by a contaminated site. Such an issue often involves many more groups. Depending on the situation it can extend to the current owner, his or her bank and insurance companies and even to buyers interested in the property, but also those living nearby and consumers of drinking water. Conflicts are practically programmed in. But it is in no one's interest to have the economic interests of the site owner and the environmental concerns of society battle it out in court. Complex tasks such as remediation can only be tackled if all parties work toward the solution, which is stated by the Contaminated Sites Ordinance.
For this reason the discretionary powers of the authorities are limited to a minimum in order to encourage the principle that partnership between government and business should preempt the exercise of police powers wherever possible. Working together thus calls for a common basis. For this reason business and authorities often come to mutual agreements - either individual agreements between individual site owners and the authorities or collective agreements between entire business sectors and the authorities. In this case members of a sector must first come to agreement among themselves.
Working together to remediate sectors in accordance with the Law relating to the Protection of the Environment (LPE) and the Contaminated Sites Ordinance (CSO):
- Consultation with those directly concerned (Art. 23 Par. 2 CSO)
- Enforcement of the Contaminated Sites Ordinance through sector solutions (Art. 23 Par. 1 CSO)
- Abstaining from issuing orders in individual cases (Art. 23 Par. 3 CSO)
- Deviation from procedural regulations possible (Art. 24 letter d CSO)
- Delegation of enforcement responsibilities (Art. 43 LPE)
The advantages of working together are apparent:
- Lower financial and staff outlays for the authorities
- Savings for business through standardisation and own-sector expertise
- Greater acceptance of the regulations
- Transfer of expertise from sectors to the authorities
- Harmonised enforcement
- Increased transparency and legal security
- Self-policing by the sector
- Positive image for the sector
Last modification 07.07.2021