The transfer of rights resulting from permission to use the environment

Caring for the state of the environment is one of the sentences of the state. Hence, the legislator imposes a statutory requirement on entrepreneurs to obtain a permit to issue emissions generated during the production of pollutants. Pawel Dyrduł, lawyer from law office KG Legal Kiełtyka Gładkowski Sp.p with its registered office in Krakow, discusses the issue of transfer of rights expressed in the permit to use the environment.

Permission to use the environment

The issue of obtaining a permit to use the environment has been regulated in the Act of 2001 Environmental Protection Law (Journal of Laws 2017.519 i.e. of 2017.03.13). It is generally accepted that the installations or equipment installed in the company affect the environment. The principle of operation of the installation, expressed in Art. 144 of the Environmental Protection Law stipulates that it should not cause the environmental quality standards to be exceeded. Putting into the environment substances or energy (gases or dusts into the air, sewage to water or to ground, waste generation) requires a permit, which is called a permit to use the environment. It appears at the request of the interested party. It is issued by an environmental authority competent for the place of business, causing the introduction of substances or energy into the environment for a period of 10 years with the possibility of extension for another 10 years.

Sale of real estate and permission to use the environment

Installation, which is the subject of a permit to use the environment under Art. 51 of the civil code is the affiliation of the property in which it is located. Hence, based on art. 52, the sale of real estate by an entrepreneur entails (unless the parties have agreed otherwise or not specified in the special provisions) disposal of the installation. In this situation, the question arises whether the disposal of real estate, and therefore the disposal of the installation to another entity, will result in the transfer of rights granted in the decision to use the environment.

Sale of property and expiration of the permit

The Environmental Protection Law in Article 199 (1) (2) provides the expiry of the permit if the operator ceases to be an operator. Hence its legal situation does not bring up problems with identification. Since the property is sold, it is no longer the subject of a decision to use the environment.

The transfer of permission

After purchasing the property, and therefore also the installation that is the subject of a permit to use the environment, there is a problem as to whether the new owner enters into the rights and obligations resulting from that permit or whether he has to go through the procedure of issuing such a decision from the outset. Environmental Protection Law in Art.189 (1) lays down the principle that the buyer acquires the rights and obligations which derive directly from the use of the environment permission. This means that he does not have to apply for such a decision because he has become a legal entity until it becomes effective. However, he has a duty – under Art. 189 sec. 2 – to notify the environmental authority of the change of the operator. To this end, he must submit immediately after purchase of the installation an application for a change in the authorization of the sign relating to the operator.

Abstract: International transactions, Environmental Law, permission to use the environment

The article was prepared by KG LEGAL KIEŁTYKA GŁADKOWSKI based in Cracow, Poland, specialising in cross border cases, with its focus on new technologies, IT and life science. It discuesses the essence of permission to uese the environment and how it coulde be transfered to other enterpreneur.

Paweł Dyrduł, lawyer (specializing in banking law, financial law) from KG LEGAL KIEŁTYKA GŁADKOWSKI – PARTNERSHIP office in Cracow, specializing in cross border issues and servicing life science and IT companies, discusses the essence of the permit to use the environment and the issue of its transfer to the purchaser of the property to which the decision relates.