Factsheet: Environmental Protection Act

Environmental Protection Act

Key Information
Full name of Instrument & Measure (English): 
Environmental protection act (86/2000; amendments up to 728/2011 and Environmental protection decree (169/2000)
Full name of Instrument & Measure (native language): 
Ympäristönsuojelulaki ja -asetus
The objective of this Act is: 1) to prevent the pollution of the environment and to repair and reduce damage caused by pollution; 2) to safeguard a healthy, pleasant and ecologically diverse and sustainable environment; 3) to prevent the generation and the harmful effects of waste; 4) to improve and integrate assessment of the impact of activities that pollute the environment; 5) to improve citizens' opportunities to influence decisions concerning the environment; 6) to promote sustainable use of natural resources; and 7) to combat climate change and otherwise support sustainable development. This Act applies to all activities that lead or may lead to environmental pollution as laid down below. This Act also applies to activities that generate waste and to waste disposal. (647/2011), (2) The Act herein does not apply to activities for which provisions are laid down in the Act on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport (1672/2009), unless otherwise provided in that Act, nor to activities referred to in the Act on the Protection of the Sea (1415/1994). Nor does this Act apply to prevention of the harmful effects of radiation in so far as it is prescribed upon in the Nuclear Energy Act (990/1987) or the Radiation Act (592/1991), nor to prevention of pollution of bodies of water as laid down in the Agreement on Frontier Rivers (SopS 54/1971) between Finland and Sweden. (1676/2009) and (3) Exceptions to the application of this Act may be laid down by decree if so required by national security, emergency supply or the special nature of the Defence Forces' activities. (4) The provisions of international agreements on the protection of the seas that are binding on Finland shall be observed when this Act is applied. In addition, what is laid down elsewhere in the law shall be observed pertaining to prevention of environmental pollution. (5)
Regulate environmental protection and reduce pollution
Responsible Authority: 
The Ministry of the Environment; Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in different parts of Finland


Year Instrument & Measure Started: 
Year Last Instrument & Measure was last Amended: