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This book intends to give a general insight into the legal aspects of soil pollution and the decontamination of polluted soil. This topic is dealt with in separate chapters for each EU Member State and the United States. Its intention is to be a stepping stone for further, and deeper, discussions and studies in this area of environmental law. Although being an introduction, this book can be of great importance for practice and educational purposes. It can play a major role in the development of (comparative) environmental law in and outside the European Union and the United States.
The 5 main items of each contribution are:
1. A general introduction, indicating the legal framework of general and specific legislation concerning soil protection, soil pollution and soil decontamination. This general introduction also refers to some actual data about the scope of the problem of soil pollution;
2. The adminstrative law aspects of soil decontamination, with a special focus on the following items: concepts (soil, pollution, historical-new-mixed soil pollution), identification of polluted soil, registration of polluted soil, decontamination of polluted soil (pollution criteria, decontamination goals, persons responsible for decontamination, etc..), soil decontamination procedure, including the possibility of judicial review, and administrative control and enforcement instruments;
3. An elaboration on the civil law liability aspects of soil pollution and decontamination. Here, at least the following themes are highlighted: property law (limitations of use, precautionary measures, expropriation, cession of ownership rights, etc.), tort law (in the case of historical, new or mixed soil pollution cases), and contract law (dealing with conditions regarding the conveyance of polluted sites);
4. An indication of penal law aspects of soil pollution and decontamination, summing up the sanctions against non-compliance with legislative provisions.
5. A summary and conclusion, pointing out some recent and future developments.
In the last chapter the editors make comparative remarks.