Land Law / Land Protective Rights (Environmental Law regarding soil´s matters)
Soils (intended as the multitude of different soil types and soil characteristics defined by soil scientists) form a vulnerable subsystem of our environment. The soil represents a secure habitat for many plants, animals and micro-organisms, it filters precipitations ´water on the way to groundwater and it represents a regulating factor in the natural balance.
However, soils are also fundamental for the production of foodstuffs and renewable resources. The most diverse claims on soil utilization are placed on every square meter– for instance, as a settlement area, as a transport mode, as an agricultural land, or as deposit of raw materials-.
These demands on lands ‘use are not easy to bring into accordance with their natural functions. It is easy to imagine that all the exploitations influence our soils in a diverse, and sometimes harmful way. At the same time, we should be aware that soils are hardly reproducible or renewable. Therefore, they must be used and protected with the highest priority.
German Federal Soil Protection Act
In 1999, the German Soil Protection and Contaminated Soil Ordinance (BBodSchV) in Lower Saxony and the Lower Saxony Soil Protection Act (NBodSchG) set up the legal basis for an accordance with the German Act on the Protection of Soils (Federal Soil Protection Act, BBodSchG).
In order to take important precautions for our earth´s soil- in the sense of protection of natural basis of existence and safeguarding of the various soil functions for future generations - is, however, really important to adhere to the following basic principles:
- Effectiveness on the entire surface: Soil protection has to take place across the whole country.
- Protection of the natural soil functions: as a matter of priority, the natural soil functions must be safeguarded against exploitations, otherwise they are not going to be used in the long term.
- Limitation of contaminant influxes: in the long term, we are aiming to a compensated balance of all the harmful chemicals.
- Limitation of so-called "non-material" soil pollution, soil erosion, soil compaction and soil sealing, and the use of the soil should be limited.
Reclamation of contaminated Land
Just in a few cases, contaminated sites have been redeveloped. This is going to be the focus of the future reclamations of contaminated lands.
It is important to combine the corrective and preventive soil protection in order to ensure sustainability in the soil handling.