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Revision of Seveso II Directive: informal agreement reached

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On 28 March 2012, a compromise proposal agreed between the Council and the European Parliament regarding the revision of the directive on control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances (Seveso II) was endorsed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives, paving the way towards its formal adoption by the Council. In this respect, the following elements of the compromise agreement are of relevance to the European cement industry:

  • Heavy fuel oils, which include petroleum products and alternative fuels: the higher thresholds for heavy fuel oil (2 500t and 25 000t) will apply 18 months after publication of the revised Seveso Directive. These will replace the very low thresholds which would have had to be applied due to the reclassification of heavy fuel oil by the petroleum products producers following the registration of heavy fuel oil under REACHi.
  • Alternative fuels derived from petroleum products: waste from petroleum products is covered in the same way under the revised Directive as the petroleum products themselves.
  • Scope of the Directive: the Directive will not apply to the transportation of dangerous substances by, for example, road or in pipelines, outside the establishments covered by the Directive. However, onshore underground gas storage, which is of importance to carbon capture and storage projects, is covered by the Directive.

The vote in the April 2012 Plenary session of the European Parliament on the Proposal for a Directive on control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances has been postponed to 11 June 2012.