Andersen in Poland successful in overturning a decision upon which a permit for waste generation and treatment was revoked without compensation

The Marshal of Małopolska Province issued a decision to revoke, with no compensation, a permit for waste generation including waste treatment by recovery and disposal. In the statement of reasons for the decision, the Marshal informed that the permit was revoked because of multiple infringements of the terms of the permit itself and of the applicable law by the company, which were identified during several inspections performed by the Province Environmental Inspector and were not rectified, even though the company was requested to do so.

Andersen joined the proceedings at the final stage before the first-instance authority (when the first-instance authority notified the company that the evidence had been gathered and a deadline set for the company to take a stance with regard to said evidence, materials gathered in the case, and demands made).

After the first-instance authority issued the decision revoking the permit, Andersen filed an appeal with the Minister of Climate and Environment. The Minister allowed the appeal, overturning the Marshal’s decision and submitting the case for reexamination. In the statement of reasons for the decision, the Minister, admitting the complaints raised in the appeal, pointed out that the Marshal had failed to carry out a considerable part of the preliminary investigation. The Minister shared the arguments for appeal, namely, that the Marshal did not address the claims, complaints and documents submitted by the company during the proceedings, and consequently failed to explain the rationale behind the decision made in the case, thereby infringing the following articles of the Administrative Procedure Code: Article 6, 7, 8 §1, 77 §1, 80 and 107 §3.

There is an interesting aspect of the case, which the Minister also referred to in the statement of reasons for the decision. Some documents used as the evidence were made in foreign languages (English and French). The documents were not translated (by certified translators). The documents were produced in connection with inspections of the company’s operation by the environmental authority (some laboratory tests used by the Province Environmental Inspectorate to make their findings were performed by foreign laboratories at the request of a third party asked by the Inspectorate to issue an opinion in the case). Our Law Firm pointed this out in the appeal, and the Minister, in the statement of reasons for the decision, shared our arguments and held that if a decision is based on documents made in foreign languages, the official translation of the documents should be made.

The case was handled by Dawid Mielcarski, Advocate, Partner of Andersen in Poland, in cooperation with our Environmental Team.