Germany: Environmental Law In Germany - Our Expertise

Last Updated: 25 April 2019
Article by Thomas Duenchheim, Steffen Schleiden and Sebastian Gräler

Environmental law covers a range of legal areas which are often of crucial importance for investment projects in approval procedures under emissions control law and sectoral planning law or in other legal fields. The main elements of environmental law include emissions control law, water law, soil conservation and contamination law, nature conservation law, mining law and nuclear law.

Reliable, competent legal advice for these complex matters is indispensable and pays dividends. With our expertise built up over many years, we can provide you with the necessary support.

For investment projects, we can offer assistance from (legal) feasibility studies right up to the judicial review in the context of collective actions or complaints from owners of adjoining properties. In this regard, we offer you comprehensive support in all relevant legal issues relating to the investment project.

Years of experience and specialist expertise – these two pillars of our advisory work help us to come up with the right strategies for your project. Below, you will find information on a selection of our key advisory areas.

Emissions control law

One of our key activities is to provide support in approval and amendment approval procedures under emissions control law for industrial facilities. In addition, we also have extensive specialist knowledge in the area of power plant construction. With us, you will receive all-round support – from the legal conception of the project, through the drafting of application documents and assistance with the approval procedure, right up to the subsequent representation in court.

Building and sectoral planning law

Building and sectoral planning law play a decisive role in many projects. We advise and represent both municipalities and property owners during urban development planning procedures and building permit procedures as well as in the conclusion of urban development contracts. In addition, we provide sectoral planning law advice for infrastructure projects.

Soil conservation and contamination law

We represent authorities and affected property owners in connection with the remediation of contaminated soil and sites. Key areas include advice on the conclusion of remediation agreements and issues relating to disturbance compensation ("Störerausgleich").

Water and wastewater law

We also offer advice in the area of water and wastewater law: whether it's authorisation, approval or plan approval procedures under water law for water and wastewater systems, we are at your disposal.

Waste law

We offer comprehensive assistance and advice in areas ranging from approval procedures for waste disposal facilities and permits for the transportation of hazardous waste right up to issues relating to the German Packaging Ordi nance ("Verpackungsverordnung – VerpackV"), covering all procedures and topics under waste law – including in connection with product recalls.

Nature conservation law

Nature conservation law is playing an ever greater and more decisive role regarding the approval of industrial and infrastructure projects – not only because of the fact that nature conservation associations have standing to sue but also because of the increasingly restrictive court rulings in this area. This applies in particular in view of the protection of nature reserves and animal species required under the Habitats Directive. We offer comprehensive legal advice both in the field of facility approval procedures as well as in the area of sectoral planning law to take account of the ongoing legislative developments in this area.

Chemicals law (REACH compliance)

We can assist you with our legal expertise regarding legal issues relating to the topic of REACH compliance, which is becoming ever more important.

Other key advisory areas

  • Nuclear and radiation protection law
  • Mining and excavation law
  • Plan approval for motorways
  • Planning and building of electrical power lines
  • Hydraulic fracturing (fracking)
  • Environment, health and safety (EHS); environmental management and environmental auditing
  • Environmental impact studies

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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