Environmental Law

2 November 2023 | Laure Marolleau

Compliance of radioactive waste repository with the French Constitution: The Constitutional Council takes a stand

The French Constitutional Council received an application from the Conseil d’État (French Administrative Supreme Court) for a preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality relating to the conformity of Article L. 542-10-1 of the French Environmental Code, in its version resulting from Law No. 2016-1015 of July 25, 2016, specifying the terms and conditions for the creation of a reversible deep geological repository for long-lived high- and intermediate-level radioactive waste (the Cigéo project) with the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the French Constitution.

In a decision handed down on October 27, 2023, the French Constitutional Council, while recognizing that the legislator must ensure that choices intended to meet current needs do not compromise the ability of future generations and other peoples to meet their own needs, by preserving their freedom of choice in this respect, concluded that the Cigéo project does not infringe the rights of future generations.

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22 September 2023 | Laure Marolleau

Launch of PFAS analysis in water discharges from classified facilities

Although the scientific community has been warning of the risks associated with the use of poly- or perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) since the early 2000s, there was until now no regulations governing discharges from industrial facilities.

As part of the PFAS 2023 2027 action plan presented earlier this year by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, a ministerial order relating to the analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in water discharges from classified facilities that are subject to the so-called authorization regime was published on June 20, 2023.

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23 August 2023 | Laure Marolleau

French State ordered to compensate victims of air pollution for the first time

In two judgments handed down on June 16, 2023, the Paris Administrative Court recognized for the first time the existence of a causal link between the bronchiolitis and ear infections affecting two children and the French State’s failure to take action in terms of air pollution.

These two judgments have been issued in a context marked by increased sanctions against the French State in environmental matters.

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30 June 2023 | Laure Marolleau

Grande Synthe case, Season 3: The judge tries to keep up the pressure on the French Government to achieve the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030

On July 1, 2021, in a case brought by the municipality of Grande-Synthe and several environmental organizations, the Conseil d’État (French Administrative Supreme Court) had ordered the French Government to take all necessary measures before March 31, 2022 to meet the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, in order inter alia to comply with the Paris Agreement and the European commitments taken on by the French legislature

Almost two years later, the Conseil d’État found that its decision had not been enforced. In a ruling dated May 10, 2023, it ordered the French Government to take new measures by June 30, 2024, and to submit a progress report by December 31, 2023 detailing these new measures and their effectiveness.

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27 April 2023 | Laure Marolleau

French Administrative Supreme Court cancels the operating license for the Gardanne biomass plant

In a ruling issued handed down on March 27, 2023, the Conseil d’Etat (French Administrative Supreme Court) upheld the cancellation of the operating license for the Gardanne biomass plant located in the municipalities of Meyreuil and Gardanne, in the Bouches-du-Rhône region, which had been ordered by the Marseille Administrative Court on June 8, 2017.

The Conseil d’Etat based its decision on the fact that the impact study had failed to analyze the environmental effects of the plant’s wood supply process.

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