The European Commission endorsed plans yesterday to make polluting companies and individuals legally responsible for the cost of the damage they cause. The commission will now draft a new “polluter pays” directive for the European Union, intended to end the notion that society as a whole must bear the cost of human-caused environmental disasters. Individual EU nations have liability rules that cover damage to people and goods, but this would be the first plan that covers damage to nature, the commission said. It sure sounds good, but enviro groups blasted the plan as full of loopholes and “completely toothless and vague.”