Permits, Property, Administrative

A company had been granted an environmental permit for mining and crushing and processing the rock for eight years. The intensity of the operations was high and they took place in an especially fragile area with sensitive ground water.


The permit came with a regulation on conditions for the operation. Though the company would prefer to have the option of using an emergency power system placed in a special container on their property in addition to the power grid, the license authority decided that the company must take energy from the electricity grid exclusively. The reason for this was that, according to the assessment made, the risk of leakage into the ground water was too great. In this case it was argued that the condition would be proportional to the aim of protecting the important ground water area, although it might be a costly transition.


In order to assess the risk, studies were made on for example the permeability of the ground and the direction of the ground water flow. The court also stressed that the permit would cover a long period of time and extensive operations. The risk of a leakage was therefore considered too high to allow for an emergency power system to be used.


The Supreme Administrative Court concluded that to grant a permit for the company without this type of condition as a regulation would be contrary to the Environmental Protection Act. Hence, the claim by the company to revise the condition was not sustained.