New European rules are now in force that will ensure EU citizens are better informed about major threats posed by industrial plants in their immediate vicinity.
The rules are part of an otherwise technical update of the Seveso Directive, a key instrument in industrial risk management, which is being adapted to reflect recent changes in the international and European classification of chemicals. The Directive obliges Member States to draw up emergency plans for areas surrounding industrial installations where very large quantities of dangerous substances are to be found.
From now on, public information about risks must be made available electronically. All establishments covered by the legislation will need to provide information about how alerts will be sounded, and about how citizens should act in the event of a major accident. When an accident happens, the relevant authorities will need to inform anyone likely to be affected by it and the main measures taken to address it.
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