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Revised EU rules will improve safety at chemical plants

December 22/2010

(ICIS) -- A newly revised European directive provides opportunities to strengthen chemical plant safety rules, Europe's largest federation of environmental organisations said on Wednesday.


The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) supported the Seveso II Directive revision as part of its strategy of pushing for "prevention and precautionary principles rather than the current 'management of risks' approach and the provision of more transparency in regards to these installations", it said.


The European Commission said the drafted Seveso II changes would, if adopted as planned from 1 June 2015, align legislation to changes in EU chemicals law. This would allow for stricter inspection standards and improvements in the level and quality of information available to the public in the event of a chemical plant accident, the Commission added.


The directive is named after the Seveso disaster, caused by an industrial accident in July 1976 at a small chemical manufacturing plant near Milan, Italy. It resulted in residents being exposed to a polychlorinated dibenzodioxin.


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