A corporation which uses hazardous materials can face variety of potential environmental issues. In addition to liability for contamination caused by a release of hazardous materials, an organization which uses hazardous materials may face civil and criminal penalties if it fails to obtain required permits and approvals for its storage, use, transportation, discharge, and disposal of hazardous materials or if it transfers hazardous waste to an unreliable waste disposal company. A corporation which uses hazardous materials can also face toxic tort suits if it exposes its employees or customers to hazardous materials, fails to supply adequate employee training, or fails to supply required notice of hazardous materials dangers to employees, customers, neighbors, or the general public .
Even an organization which doesn’t use hazardous materials can incur significant liability if it owns or leases a facility which contains hazardous materials (such as asbestos) or which has an on-site source of contamination (such as a leaking underground storage tank). Under certain circumstances, a corporation can also become liable for the worth of investigating or remediating hazardous materials which migrate onto property leased or owned by the corporation, even if the corporation did not cause the contamination.
Because investigative, remedial, and administrative costs incurred in responding to such environmental problems are often significant, it’s advised to be vigilant regarding the potential for environmental liability in reference to all business transactions they undertake. A pro-active approach to prevention and remediation is usually advisable and, through the varied phases of a corporation’s existence.
Scientific uncertainty may sometimes be a mirage. Polluter’s often attempt to hide themselves behind the necessity of scientific certainty. Precautionary principle doesn’t book this hide and seek the policy of the polluters and thus the potential polluters. The ‘polluter pays’ principle and therefore the refore the precautionary principle were accepted as a neighborhood of system within the Sludge Case and the Vellore Citizen’s Forums Case
In T. Dhamodar Rao v Special Officer, Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh supreme court referred also to Article 51 A (g) and 48 A and prevented the conversion of open space to a residential complex. The court noted that the protection of environment is the duty of the citizens as well as the obligation of the state.
In Mohd Hazi Rafeeq v State of Uttaranchal, the Uttaranchal supreme court mentioned Article 48 A and 51 A (g) so as to worry the duty of the state to preserve and protect forest even at the value of business interest of the petitioner.
In Rural Litigation Entitlement Kendra v State of UP Supreme court of India accepted the letter written to the court as a writ petition. This case was pronounced by the court because the “first case of its kind within the country involving the problems concerning environment and ecological balance..” the letter was written by RLEK, Dehradun a voluntary organisation. The epistolary jurisdiction has been invoked by the courts in other cases also because the matters involved were of important importance.
In Municipal Council, Ratlam v Vardichand Shri Vardichand filed a case for removing unhygienic conditions amounting to common nuisance , as Article 47 makes it paramount principle of governance that steps are taken for the development of the general public health as amongst its primary responsibility. The court observed:
“The officer in charge and even the elected representatives will have to face the penalty of law if what the constitution and follow up legislation direct them to do are defied or denied wrongfully.”
It has been made an obligatory duty of the occupier to disclose the knowledge include health hazards and therefore the measures to beat such hazards in manufacturing, transportation, storage, and other processes to the workers, chief inspectors, agency and therefore the general public within the vicinity. Such information shall include characteristics of wastes and thus the way of their disposal. It is also the duty of the occupier to draw up an “on site emergency plan” and detailed “disaster controlled measures” and to make them known to the workers and the nearby dwellers.
The need to understand and act upon the concept of corporate social responsibility has gained momentum in the recent past not just in the legal precept but also in the judicial activism. The argument for the individual rights and by extension those of corporations and position of NGO’s stands apart as perhaps the strongest of the environmental claims. The pragmatic point is that the addressing the position of individual and other legally significant entities directly, law of nations facilitates wider participation in cesses of national governance, and more effective approach to the enforcement and implementation of law, primarily through the use of national legal systems. Besides the constitutional and legislative duty it becomes an ethical duty not only of people but of the company houses to guard and improve the standard environment. Right to pollution free environment might be achieved by realising common but differentiated responsibility at every strata of the society.