Nordic Environmental Law Journal, No 1, 2014, pp 53-65.
One objective of the article is to contribute to a discussion of distribution of power and responsibility for management of ecosystem services among central public authorities, local communities and market actors. The regulatory and administrative regime established to address environmental concerns does not seem to be up to speed with the challenges posed by the increased interest in mineral mining in Norway. The main weaknesses identified are related to the Norwegian regime’s reliance on local authorities in mineral mining cases, the unclear division of competence between local authorities, mining authorities and environmental authorities, and the extent of devolution of power to public authorities without clear duties to impose and enforce environmental requirements and conditions. The article also points out the particular problems associated with marine waste deposits. Finally, it observes that despite the important environmental consequences of mineral mining, the regulatory framework does not significantly strengthen the position of stakeholders with diffuse interests or weak bargaining power.