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Environment: Commission asks Italy to comply with rules on prevention of industrial accidents

Commission Européenne - IP/10/1248   30/09/2010

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE IT

IP/10/1248

Brussels, 30 September 2010

Environment: Commission asks Italy to comply with rules on prevention of industrial accidents

The Commission is asking Italy to correctly apply the requirements of EU legislation on major industrial hazards. The case refers to the failure of authorities in the Province of Trieste to provide sufficient information to the public on safety measures and required behaviour in the event of an accident. Italy has two months to respond to the reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures, failing which the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "Proper dissemination of information to the public is a crucial requirement of the Directive as this can play a major role in reducing the effects of industrial accidents, should they take place."

Bad application of Seveso II Directive

Directive 96/82/EC, commonly known as the Seveso II Directive, aims to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances and limit their consequences on citizens and the environment. The requirements apply to those establishments where dangerous substances are stored above certain quantities specified in the Directive. In cases where the highest thresholds set in the Directive are exceeded, the Directive obliges Member States to inform the population which might be affected by industrial accidents, in a regular and proactive manner, on the required behaviour in the event of an accident.

Since the information provided to the public in the Province of Trieste on establishments at risk of industrial accident is insufficient to comply with the Directive, the Commission is sending Italy a reasoned opinion.

The Directive and its predecessor, Seveso I (Directive 82/501/EEC), were prompted by a major accident at a chemical plant in Seveso, Italy, in 1976.

For current statistics on infringements in general see:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/implementation_en.htm

MEMO/10/457


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