A Proprietary or Possessory Interest: A Conditio Sine Qua Non for Claiming Damages for Environmental Impairment?
Environmental impairment can cause a great variety of harm and damage. The negative effects may result both from accidentsoccurring in the course of production, transport, storage, waste-handling, etc., of hazardous and noxious substances and from gradual pollution from environmentally harmful activity, for instance, emissions, spills, or waste generation on a continuing or repetitive basis.1
Loss of lives and personal injuries have been sustained in connection with accidents such as Chernobyl ( 1986),2 Bhopal ( 1984),3 and Texas City ( 1947).4 These accidents also caused extensive material damage, that is, damage to property and consequential economic losses. Such damage is further continuously caused by gradual pollution. However, mainly because of the difficulties in proving a causal link between a polluting activity and inflicted harm, claims for personal injury have so far not been common in the latter context. Many incidents involving____________________