The Seveso-III-Directive (2012/18/EU) aims at the prevention of major accidents involving dangerous substances. However, as accidents may nevertheless occur, it also aims at limiting the consequences of such accidents not only for human health but also for the environment.
The Directive covers establishments where dangerous substances may be present (e.g. during processing or storage) in quantities exceeding certain threshold. Excluded from the Directive are certain industrial activities which are subject to other legislation providing a similar level of protection (e.g. nuclear establishments or the transport of dangerous substances).
Depending on the amount of dangerous substances present, establishments are categorised in lower and upper tier, the latter are subject to more stringent requirements.
The legal framework established by the Directive creates a continuous improvement cycle of prevention, preparedness and response to major accidents. The cycle is closed by provisions on lesson learning.
Main obligations for operators
Operators are obliged to take all necessary measures to prevent major accidents and to limit their consequences for human health and the environment. The requirements include:
Main obligations for Member State authorities
Member States need to ensure that a number of requirements are fulfilled, those include:
Member States may maintain or adopt stricter measures than those contained in the Seveso Directive.
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