Implementation of Seveso Directives in an Enlarged Europe: A Look into the Past and a Challenge for the Future
Since the early eighties the so-called ‘Seveso Directives’ have provided a legal framework of reference for rules governing major accident hazards in Europe, based on the essential principles of preventive action, public participation, and public information, as well as on the precautionary principle. As competent authorities in each Member State must follow stringent reporting requirements to the European Commission, it has become clear that, although enormous progress has been made, significant difficulties persist in reaching the safety goals of the directives. This highly informative book details the specific progress manifested in a representative cross-section of Member States (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic), in the process highlighting where difficulties arise and indicating methods by which actuality can be brought as near as possible to the uncompromising safety assurance envisioned by the directives.
In the national reports and in the general opening chapter, the authors discuss safety measures aimed at preventing major accidents as well as control measures which aim at limiting the consequences of an accident once it occurs. They describe provisions regarding such factors as the following, in terms of both the legal requirements and actual current implementation :
- land use planning;
- location of an industrial establishment;
- start-up of an industrial establishment;
- organizational and managerial factors;
- substances used in the industrial process;
- hazard sources;
- conditions under which a major accident could occur;
- operations at the installation;
- preventive measures planned;
- role of competent authorities;
- the role of the Major Accident Hazards Bureau;
- inspections and other control measures;
- the penalty system and legal action;
- urban development around the industrial establishments at risk;
- transboundary effects;
- measures regarding the safety of personnel;
- compensation for damages to victims of technological disasters; and
- site rehabilitation.
An introduction presents a detailed description and analysis of the events following the release of a dioxin cloud from the Icmesa factory in Seveso in July 1976, written by two of the prime movers in bringing the severe human and environmental implications of the accident to European attention.
In its recognition that the environmental stake is of crucial importance for the future – indeed, a necessary condition for economic development and the construction of a European identity – this important book gives lawyers and other concerned parties the kind of clear, integrated perspective that leads to concerted positive action. It will be highly valued as a major contribution to our knowledge of how to prevent and control threats to the human and natural environment.
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