Dealing with the control of on-shore major accident hazards involving dangerous substances the Seveso III Directive 2012/18/EU is the main piece of EU legislation.

On June 1ST 2015 the Seveso III Directive will be implemented and will replace The Seveso II Directive.

The (COMAH) Control of Major Accident Hazards involving Dangerous Substances Regulation 2000 will be repealed and replaced by the COMAH Regulations 2015 on 1 June 2015 so as to implement the new Directive.

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Seveso III Directive deals with occurrence such as any of the following resulting from uncontrolled developments in the course of the operation of any establishment, and leading to a serious danger to human health or the environment, immediate or delayed, inside or outside the establishment, and involving one or more dangerous substances:

  • Major emission
  • Fire
  • Explosion

The main philosophy behind Seveso II remains.
In most cases the status will remain unchanged but the status of some sites could change.
These could include, Newly qualified establishments, at lower or upper tier, Some operators may move from lower to upper tier, and vice versa, Some establishments may drop out of the regime.
The main purpose is to align scope to new international chemicals classification (CLP Regulation transposing Global Harmonised Standards classification).
Alignment of new international chemical hazard classification is not straight forward for health hazards (i.e. Toxic Category 1-4 now considering exposure through oral, dermal, inhalation (vapour), inhalation (aerosol) and inhalation (gas)).
∑q/Q Inventory calculations will need to be updated based on new GHS guidelines.

    • Clarify/improve

Culture shift on information to the public
– More information than before needs to be provided unless Commercial or Security sensitive
– Public information available for both lower & upper tier sites
– Extra provision for top tiers regarding Safety Reports
– Finding of safety inspections by H.S.A
– Information must be up to date and available electronically
– Inspections, frequency of inspections by H.S.A based on risk/hazard profile
– Upper tier , annual inspections or more frequent
– Lower tier, three yearly or more frequent
– Public participation & Access to justice
– There will need to be administrative & judicial review arrangements if any request for information is withheld and subsequently challenged

    • Land Use Planning

– Access to justice (Judicial Review) if inadequate consultation on individual consultation
– appropriate safety distances between Seveso establishments and residential areas, buildings and areas of public use, recreational areas and, as far as possible, major transport routes
– for areas of particular natural sensitivity or interest : other relevant measures can be taken
– for existing establishments, additional technical measures so as not to increase the risks