Pollution - The New Settler- Legal Aspects of Land and Soil Pollution
"Green-Blue-White" Vol. 21
Tzvi Levinson, Adv.
Both the person whose activity is a potential source of land pollution and the person who is in possession of already polluted land (even if that pollution was brought through no fault of his/her) may be faced with liabilities that could surpass the value of that land. Unlike many developed countries Israel has enacted no law defining when shall land be considered as "polluted" or regulating its clean-up (cf. the American CERCLA, the second chapter of the British Environment Act 1995 (coming into force 1999) or the Dutch Act of February 1995). It can be assumed, however, that when the Legislator shall give his/her mind to the task these foreign models will be considered. A common feature to these Acts is the way liability is formed: Liability is absolute (i.e. not based on fault or malfeasance), jointly and severally (of all the persons who are deemed responsible) and retroactive. When you buy land take care that the contract does not state that the land is being sold "as is". For example, the Wisconsin Supreme Court construed the principle of "Caveat Emptor" to include pollution discovered after the bargain was completed.