Europeans Able to Check Hazardous Production Sites

15 04 2012

The below notice was sent via the President of The International Emergency Managers Society (TIEMS), of which I’m a member of the editorial advisory board.   I thought this was quick interesting and wondered how this would go over in North America.

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Dear TIEMS Members and Supporters,

The Council and the European Parliament have reached an informal agreement on amending a so-called «Seveso Directive ». The Directive is named after an accident which happened in 1976 in Seveso, Italy when a dense vapour cloud containing hazardous substances was released from a pesticide factory. The accident prompted the adoption of legislation aimed at the prevention and control of such accidents. Since then all the companies storing large amounts of fireworks, oil, petrol or toxic chemicals are referred to as « Seveso cites».

The new directive reinforces the rights of EU citizens regarding their access to information on hazardous production sites. European citizens will be able to see if they have dangerous industrial sites in their neighbourhood on the internet and see how to react in case of emergency. They will also be able to go to court if they think that a new Seveso site is established too close to their homes. All Seveso sites will be obliged to prepare an accident prevention policy to improve their level of safety.

Ida Auken, Danish Minister for the Environment and a fervent proponent of this proposal says that this step will allow citizens to feel more secure in their homes even if they live in the proximity of a plant producing hazardous substances.

After the European Parliament adopts its position on first reading in June 2012, the directive will be officially adopted by the Council in the second half of 2012. The amended Directive will enter into force in 2015.

More information is available here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/envir/129282.pdf

With Best Regards,

TIEMS Secretariat

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