1974: Federal Emission Protection Act
It is the purpose of the present Act to protect human beings, animals and plants, the soil, water, the atmosphere as well as cultural assets and other material goods against harmful effects on the environment and, to the extent that this concerns installations subject to licensing, also from hazards, considerable disadvantages and considerable nuisance caused in any other way, and to take precautions against the emergence of any such harmful effects on the environment. The text consists of 62 articles divided into 7 Parts as follows: General provisions (I); Establishment and operation of installations (II); Nature of installations, substances, products, fuels and lubricants (III); Nature and operation of vehicles and craft, construction of and alterations to roads and railtracks (IV); Monitoring of air pollution in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, Clean air plans and noise abatement Plans (V); Joint provisions (VI); Final provisions (VII).
1990: Environment Frame Act
The present Act lays down provisions relating to general issues concerning the environment. In particular, the Act deals with protection against emissions, nuclear safety and protection against radiation, management of water resources, waste disposal and waste management, chemicals, protection of nature and landscape and environmental impact assessment. The text consists of 9 articles and 1 Annex.
1990: The Federal Immission Control Act was adopted and amended in 2000. The purpose of this Act is to protect human beings, animals and plants, the soil, water, the atmosphere as well as cultural assets and other material goods against harmful effects on the environment and also from hazards, considerable disadvantages and considerable nuisance caused in any other way, and to take precautions against the emergence of any such harmful effects on the environment.
1994: The Environmental Information Act was passed and substantially revised in 2005 based on the Aarhus Convention. The Environmental Information Act governs access to information held by the federal administration, serving as a blueprint for legislation in all states, which adopted equivalent laws.
2007: The Law on the Prevention and Remediation of Environmental Damage was brought into force, embracing the ‘polluter-pays’ principle and giving incentives to operators to adopt measures and develop practices to minimize the risk of environmental damage. Environmental damage is defined as damage to habitats and species (biodiversity damage), surface or groundwater or soil.
2009: The Law on the Organization of the Water Balance was promulgated to use sustainable water management to protect water bodies as part of the natural balance, as the basis of human life, as a habitat for animals and plants and as a usable asset.
2012: The Law to Promote the Circular Economy and Ensure Environmentally Friendly Waste Management was established to promote the circular economy to conserve natural resources and to ensure the protection of people and the environment in the generation and management of waste.