Language of document :

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Verwaltungsgerichtshof (Austria) lodged on 7 October 2015 — Gert Folk

(Case C-529/15)

Language of the case: German

Referring court

Verwaltungsgerichtshof

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Gert Folk

Defendant: Unabhängiger Verwaltungssenat für die Steiermark

Questions referred

Does Directive 2004/35/EC 1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage, as amended by Directive 2006/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 and by Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 (OJ 2009 L 140, p. 114), (‘the Environmental Liability Directive’) apply also to damage which, although it arises after the date specified in Article 19(1) of the Environmental Liability Directive, none the less results from the operation of a facility (a hydroelectric power station) authorised and brought into operation prior to that date and is covered by an authorisation granted under the law governing matters relating to water?

Does the Environmental Liability Directive, in particular Articles 12 and 13 thereof, stand in the way of a national provision which precludes persons holding fishing rights from initiating a review procedure within the meaning of Article 13 of the Environmental Liability Directive in relation to environmental damage as defined in Article 2(1)(b) of the Directive?

Does the Environmental Liability Directive, in particular Article 2(1)(b) thereof, preclude a national provision which excludes damage that has a significant adverse effect on the ecological, chemical or quantitative status or ecological potential of the water in question from the notion of ‘environmental damage’, in the case where that damage is covered by an authorisation granted under a national legislative provision?

If Question 3 is answered in the affirmative:

In cases where, in the granting of an authorisation under provisions of national law, no assessment has been made of the criteria laid down by Article 4(7) of Directive 2000/60/EC (or of the national measures implementing it), is, for the purpose of determining whether environmental damage within the meaning of Article 2(1)(b) of the Environmental Liability Directive has arisen, Article 4(7) of Directive 2000/60/EC to be applied directly, and is it necessary to determine whether the criteria laid down by that provision are satisfied?

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1 OJ 2004 L 143, p. 56, in the version amended by Directive 2006/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the management of waste from extractive industries and amending Directive 2004/35/EC — Statement by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission (OJ 2006 L 102, p. 15) and by Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Council Directive 85/337/EEC, European Parliament and Council Directives 2000/60/EC, 2001/80/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2006/12/EC, 2008/1/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 (OJ 2009 L 140, p. 114).