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”.
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.
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).