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What is Seveso?

Seveso accident
Major accidents in chemical industry have occurred world-wide. In Europe, the Seveso accident in 1976 prompted the adoption of legislation aimed at the prevention and control of such accidents. The resulting 'Seveso' directive now applies to around 10,000 industrial establishments where dangerous substances are used or stored in large quantities, mainly in the chemicals, petrochemicals, storage, and metal refining sectors.
The Seveso Directive obliges Member States to ensure that operators have a policy in place to prevent major accidents. Operators handling dangerous substances above certain thresholds must regularly inform the public likely to be affected by an accident, providing safety reports, a safety management system and an internal emergency plan. Member States must ensure that emergency plans are in place for the surrounding areas and that mitigation actions are planned. Account must also be taken of these objectives in land-use planning.
There is a tiered approach to the level of controls: the larger the quantities of dangerous substances present within an establishment, the stricter the rules ('upper-tier' establishments have bigger quantities than 'lower-tier' establishments and are therefore subject to tighter control).

Civil Protection Malta and SEVESO

The EU Directive has been transposed into Maltese law through the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations - L.N. 37 of 2003 as amenede by L.N. 6 of 2005
Competence for the COMAH Regulations, enacted under the Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act, is shared between the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA), the environmental Protection Directorate within MEPA, and the Civil Protection Department (CPD), with OHSA taking the lead in co-ordinating the administrative actions of the COMAH Competent Authority. 
Operators of facilities that come within scope of the COMAH regulations because of the type and quantity of chemicals that are stored, handled and produced at the same facility, are obliged to notify OHSA and submit the informations required by the legislation.
Eleven COMAH establishments have been identified in Malta, six of which fall under the upper tier class. The Civil Protection Department apart from being a comptent authority in this legislation, is also involved in exercises when these establishments make the required drill. 

​     Click here for further information about Seveso and Directives.