Forest Engineering Service in Torrent and Avalanche Control – Legal bases
The most important legal bases for the Forest Engineering Service in Torrent and Avalanche Control are set out in the Austrian Forest Act of 1975, Federal Law Gazette No 440/1975, as last amended by Federal Law Gazette I No 56/2016, and in the associated ordinances concerning the agencies and their tasks as well as the Hazard Zone Plan.
However, also older regulations, like the Imperial Law Gazette concerning provisions on the non-hazardous drainage of mountain waters of 30 June 1884, RGBl. No 117/1884, still apply and form part of the legal framework. In concrete implementation, mostly also the Water Act 1959 (“Wasserrechtsgesetz 1959“), Federal Law Gazette No 215/1959, as last amended by Federal Law Gazette I No 54/2014, the Hydraulic Structures Development Act 1985 (“Wasserbautenförderungsgesetz 1985“), Federal Law Gazette No 148/1985, as last amended by Federal Law Gazette I No 98/2013, as well as the Disaster Fund Act of 1996 (“Katastrophenfondsgesetz 1996“), Federal Law Gazette No 201/1996 Federal Law Gazette I No 46/2016 - and many other legal standards from nature conservation legislation, waste management legislation and the like – are applied.
The Forest Engineering Service in Torrent and Avalanche Control is a subordinate agency of the Federal Government which is to ensure sustainable protection against natural hazards like avalanches, mudflows and erosion. The organisation encompasses an expert directorate in the Directorate-General Forestry and Sustainability of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism as well as 7 Provincial Headquarters in the Federal Provinces (Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland in one) and 21 Regional Headquarters.
For more information on the Torrent and Avalanche Control Service, its structures and areas of competence, see https://www.bmlrt.gv.at/english/forestry/Naturalhazards.html.