Heading II.
Tasks


Subheading I.
General tasks


Article 15.8.2. The authority to assess the nature, extent and severity of the damage rests with the competent authority. Soil damage is established in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Soil Decree.

Article 15.8.3.

The authority to identify the operator who caused the damage, or the immediate threat of damage, rests with the competent authority.

The indication of the person required to prevent and remediate soil damage at his own expense shall take place in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Soil Decree.


Translation not available

Translation not available

Subheading II.
Preventive action


Article 15.8.4. Translation not available

Article 15.8.5. The competent authority demands that the operator take the preventive measures. If the operator does not fulfil the obligations in Article 15.2.1 and Article 15.2.3, 2 and 3, or cannot be identified, the competent authority can take the preventive measures itself.

Subheading III.
Remediation action


Article 15.8.6. Translation not available

Article 15.8.7. The competent authority demands that the operator take the restrictive measures and remediation measures. If the operator does not fulfil the obligations in Article 15.3.1 and Article 15.3.2, 2 and 3, or cannot be identified, the competent authority can take these measures itself.

Article 15.8.8. The authority to determine which remediation measures must be implemented, in accordance with Articles 15.3.3 up to and including 15.3.11, rests with the competent authority.

Subheading IV.
Establishment of remediation measures

Translation not available

Article 15.8.9. If necessary, the competent authority will work with the operator.

Article 15.8.10. Translation not available

Article 15.8.11.

The competent authority invites the persons stated in Article 15.6.1, and, in any case, the persons on whose land the remediation measures and restrictive measures are put in place and the operator in question, to give their comments. The competent authority takes this comments into consideration.

The Flemish Government can set further rules as to the method of notification.


Subheading V.
Recuperation of costs


Article 15.8.12. Without prejudice to the application of Articles 15.5.1 up to and including 15.5.6, the competent authority recuperates the costs it incurs in putting measures in place on the grounds of this title from the operator who caused the damage or the immediate threat of damage. The competent authority collects and recovers these costs on behalf of the Mina fund.

Article 15.8.13.

The Flemish Region can recover these costs by means of an enforcement order. The enforcement order will be signed and declared enforceable by the competent authority.

The enforcement order is subject to the provisions of part V of the Legal Code on the sequestering of property and means of enforcement.

The enforcement order is served on the debtor in the form of a writ of summons.

Within a period of thirty days of the date of receipt of the enforcement order, the debtor is entitled to lodge a protest with Flemish Region.

This protest suspends the enforcement. The Flemish Region can request that the court remove the suspension of enforcement.


Article 15.8.14.

The Flemish Region can recuperate the costs by, among other things, means of a business surety or another appropriate guarantee.

On the grounds of the enforcement order that has been declared enforceable, and to secure recuperation of the costs, the Flemish Region has a general preferential claim on all movable property of the operator and can take a legal mortgage out on all appropriate or registered goods of the operator located or registered in the Flemish Region.

This preferential claim takes precedence immediately after the preferential claims stated in Articles 19 and 20 of the Act of 16 December 1851 and in Article 23 of book II of the Commercial Code.

The rank of the legal mortgage is determined by the date of registration taken under the enforcement order that has been declared enforceable and served.

The mortgage is registered at the request of the competent authority. The registration takes place, notwithstanding protest, dispute or appeal, on production of a copy of the enforcement order, which is certified by the official and makes mention of the service thereof.

Article 447, second paragraph of book III of the Commercial Code with regard to compulsory liquidation, bankruptcy and deferment of payment does not apply to the legal mortgage as regards the costs of the measures. The Flemish Government can accept other forms of financial security.


Article 15.8.15. Contrary to Article 15.8.12, the Flemish Government can decide not to pursue recuperation of the costs, if the cost of recuperation is greater than the amount to be recouped or if it is not possible to establish the identity of the operator.

Article 15.8.16. The competent authority is authorised to initiate proceedings against the operator to recuperate the costs relating to all measures taken on the grounds of this title, before the expiry of a period of five years, starting from the date on which the measures are completed in full or the date on which the liable operator is identified, where this date is later.

Article 15.8.17. The Flemish Government can set further rules and procedures to establish the costs and with regard to exercising the recuperation of costs.

Subheading VI.
Processing of requests for measures


Article 15.8.18. The competent authority will consider observations and requests that make it reasonable to assume that environmental damage has occurred. Article 15.8.11 equally applies here.

Article 15.8.19. The competent authority informs the persons stated in Article 15.6.1 as soon as possible about the decision of whether or not to take measures and the reasons for this.

Article 15.8.20. Translation not available

Translation not available

Article 15.8.22. Translation not available