The changes to Seveso have been kept to a minimum as far as possible. However, the new classification criteria in the CLP regulations and the way Seveso III will link to CLP from the 1 June 2015 could mean that a number of sites may:
The changes will have implications for people who have duties under the legislation and others who may be affected by them.
Both the Seveso Directive and the COMAH regulations which implement the Directive apply to businesses where dangerous substances, as set out in Annex 1 of the Directive, are either present on site at or above the threshold quantities or could be generated in the event of an accident. All types of businesses with dangerous substances are covered, not just those in the chemical sector.
If you are already operating a Seveso (COMAH) site, you will need to:
Although your site may currently be out of scope of the Seveso II Directive, you will need to check the changes to Annex 1 of the Seveso III Directive which could affect whether your site remains out of scope or becomes an upper or lower tier site. Changes to other parts of the Directive might also affect how you discharge your duties. For example, you will need to check if the changes to public information requirements apply to your site (Article 14 and Annex 5) or whether you need to write a safety report (if your site is an upper tier site) and what information is needed.
Consideration will need to be given to the role the emergency planning authorities will have with regard to Annex 5, para 5 which requires that the ‘public concerned’ is given appropriate information about how to behave in the event of a major accident.
Major incidents are rare events but emergency planning, preparedness and response help to ensure that the effects of any that do occur are kept as small as possible.
Local authorities must prepare adequate emergency plans to deal with the off-site consequences of possible major accidents at upper tier sites, and should review and where necessary revise them. They must also test them at specified intervals.
Local authorities will need to prepare emergency plans for any sites in their area that become upper tier sites as a result of the changes in the Seveso III Directive.
Under Article 12 of the Seveso III Directive the’ public concerned’ must be given early opportunity to comment on off-site emergency plans as they are being developed or substantially modified. Consideration will need to given to the role the emergency planning authorities will have with regard to Annex 5, para 5 which requires that the ‘public concerned’ is given appropriate information about how to behave in the event of a major accident.
Land use planning is one of the measures in Seveso intended to mitigate the effects of a major accident in the unlikely event that one occurs.
The changes to Article 13 ‘Land-use planning’ and Annex 1 of the Seveso III Directive will be implemented through planning legislation which is the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Welsh and Scottish Governments.