Environmental criminal law

It is up to environmental criminal law to punish environmentally harmful behavior as criminal offenses or administrative offenses. Administrative offenses differ from criminal offenses in that they are not punished with a criminal penalty (imprisonment or fine) but with a fine.
Criminal offenses can mainly be found in Section 28 of the Criminal Code (StGB) “Offenses against the environment”.

Example:
Anyone who pollutes a body of water without authorization or otherwise adversely affects its properties is punished with imprisonment for up to five years or with a fine (Section 324 of the Criminal Code).

Administrative offenses are regulated in the individual environmental laws.

Example:
Anyone who operates a system contrary to an enforceable prohibition pursuant to Section 25 BlmSchG can be fined up to fifty thousand euros (Section 62 (1) No. 6 BlmSchG).

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