CAAG won a precedent-setting lawsuit

Clean Air Action Group (CAAG) has won a lawsuit against the Government Office of Pest County regarding the authorization of a construction waste management plant. The court decision can make future environmental court proceedings easier.

The Labour and Administrative Tribunal of Pécs has recently decided in favour of CAAG against the Government Office of Pest County. The case was initiated by CAAG, and it was closed with a judgement which can make it easier to file a lawsuit for environmental issues in the future.

CAAG has disputed the permit of a construction waste management plant issued by the District Office of Kaposvár, on the ground that the noise and dust emissions of the plant had not been assessed appropriately.

The Government Office for Pest County contested CAAG's right to appeal, claiming that CAAG was late with the legal action, because the permit had been already issued in August 2017, while the appeal was made only in October 2017.

CAAG, legally represented by nvironment Managemeng and Law Association (EMLA), went to court to fight the decision, and the court decided in CAAG's favour.

During the proceedings it turned out that the residents of the nearby village had not been notified about the original permit; not even a public announcement was released to them. They learnt about the project only when the construction works started.

CAAG argued that an appeal cannot be considered as late when authorities do not inform parties and stakeholders properly.

The court ended the dispute, ruling that the time period for filing an appeal against a decision starts when the parties are notified about the decision. Until a person or organization bearing client rights is not informed about a decision, the period for legal appeal cannot open, therefore, the party cannot be considered late in exercising their right to legal procedure.

Thanks to this decision environmental law enforcement will become considerably easier, because if a stakeholder can prove that he or she has not been notified, or was notified belatedly about a decision, the period to appeal opens later, even if a permit has been already issued several months earlier.

Translated by Katalin Tarr