A new Directive to replace the existing Seveso Directive (96/82/EC as amended by 2003/105/EC) has been agreed by the European council.
Known as Seveso III because it is the third version of the original 1982 legislation (82/501/EEC), the new Directive aims to further improve prevention of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances and will apply to 10,000 establishments across the EU.
New measures include:
- aligning Annex I of the Directive (which defines the substances falling in its scope) with the new EU system for the classification of dangerous substances (Regulation 1272/2008/EC);
- improving public access to safety information and participation in decision-making as well as access to justice; and
- stricter standards for inspections of installations to ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of safety rules.
The original Directive came into being in response to an industrial accident in 1976 at a small chemical manufacturing plant in the Italian town of Seveso, exposing the local population to dangerous dioxins.