Seveso Directive…nothing to see here, folks…move along…
An EU mandate developed on the heels of the Seveso accident in which there was massive release of dioxin into the environment. The Directive is designed to ensure that industrial sites have plans in place to prevent chemical and toxic accidents, manage them if they occur and inform the public at all times.
The mandate applies to ±10,000 industrial establishments where dangerous substances are used or stored in large quantities, mainly in the chemicals, petrochemicals, storage, and metal refining sectors. The Directive obliges Member States to ensure that operators have a policy in place to prevent major accidents. Operators handling dangerous substances above certain thresholds must regularly inform the public likely to be affected by an accident, providing safety reports, a safety management system and an internal emergency plan. Member States must ensure that emergency plans are in place for the surrounding areas and that mitigation actions are planned. Account must also be taken of these objectives in land-use planning.