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Revision of Seveso II Directive

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The Proposal for a Directive on control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances is currently being discussed by the European Parliament. Released by the European Commission on 21 December 2010, it aims to revise Directive 96/82/EC (Directive Seveso II) due to changes in the EU system of classification of dangerous substances to which the Directive refers. The exclusion from the scope of the Directive for activities of the extractive industries (Art 4(e) in current Directive 96/82/EC) is maintained (with the exception of underground gas storage). The transport of dangerous substances in pipelines or by road, rail, internal waterways, sea or air are still outside of the scope. Heavy fuel oil has been included in the entry for petroleum products.

The Environment Committee is the lead Committee in the Parliament, while the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committees will provide an opinion. Janos Ader’s draft report has been released on 19 May. It is scheduled for adoption on 4 October and in Plenary on 12 December 2011. IMCO Małgorzata Handzlik’s draft opinion has been published on 11 May and debated on 24 May. The main concerns for the Parliament are the modifications to the scope of the Directive to be done under co-decision and not through delegated acts. MEPs are also requesting more public access to information, better reporting on major accidents and more inspections.

Although it extends the obligations there is no real reason for concern. Nevertheless, it is not so much a matter of technical issues and costs, but rather political and communication perception.

The Draft Report can be found here:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+COMPARL+PE-464.978+01+DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN

IMCO draft opinion can be found here:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+COMPARL+PE-464.762+02+DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN