Environmental pollution and private nuisance claims

At a time when the European Commission's latest proposals on civil liability for environmental damage have just been published (see pp 41-42 ), the role of the traditional British civil remedy in common law nuisance may require re-evaluation. Statutory regulation by public authorities now provides the mainstay of environmental protection, but a recent County Court decision illustrates the continuing strength of the nuisance action in resolving long-running environmental disputes. The judgment also contains important insights on the relevance in civil actions of compliance with statutory controls and the use of scientific standards.

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