Oil exploration – environmental laws triumph
The Supreme Administrative Court considers that there is a special legal relevance to the question of the repercussions of the invoked precautionary principle in the execution of environmental damage, although it does not accept the review of the judgment of the Central Administrative Court of the South because there is no longer any situation of “danger”, writes environmental association, PALP, in a press release issued on Saturday, June 29.
In March, the Public Prosecutor’s Office appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court (STA) regarding the ruling handed down by the Central Administrative Court of the South (TCAS) on 21/02/2019.
This ruling had revoked the ruling of the Loulé Administrative Court and, consequently, dismissed the injunction requested by PALP to suspend the title of private use of the national maritime space (TUPEM) and to order the concessionaires not to proceed with any work, preparatory to the prospection or execution thereof.
The STA considered that the discussion of this judgment would no longer have practical effects, due to the expiry of the legal title – TUPEM, where it was based on the possibility of private use of the national maritime space, to conduct the prospecting, making its intervention unnecessary.
However, the STA considers that “there is a special legal relevance to the question of the repercussions of the invoked precautionary principle in the realization of environmental damage”, which reinforces the contentions of PALP that has always focused on the issue of the environmental impacts of a prospecting and exploration, something that the Ministries of the Sea and the Environment and utilities have always tried to deny.
With this decision, environmental movements and organizations feel strengthened. They have the confirmation that there are laws and institutions in Portugal that allow us to defend the environment.