Heavy Fuel Oil Clarification – SEVESO III (UK) – Query

The Heavy Fuel Oil (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 162) entered into force on 20th Feb 2014 – applicable Britain (COMAH) and England (Hazardous Substance Consents)

These Regulations implement Article 30 of the European SEVESO III Directive. Article 30 deals with uncertainty in relation to the classification of heavy fuel oils by adding heavy fuel oils to the table in Part 2 of Annex 1 to the SEVESO II Directive (European Directive 96/82 as amended) under the heading Petroleum Products with qualifying quantities of 2,500 tonnes for column 2 and 25,000 tonnes for column 3. This removes the uncertainty that existed as regards the appropriate qualifying quantities for heavy fuel oils for the purposes of implementing Seveso II.

The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (as amended) are amended by adding heavy fuel oils to the list of named substances in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the already amended 1999 Regulations. The effect of this is that an establishment where heavy fuel oils are present in a quantity equal to, or exceeding the qualifying quantity in column 2 (2,500 tonnes) becomes subject to the 1999 Regulations and an establishment where heavy fuel oils are present in a quantity equal to, or exceeding the quantity in column 3 (25,000 tonnes) becomes subject to additional requirements as set out in regulation 3(1) of the 1999 Regulations.

The Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 1992 (as amended) are similarly amended with the addition of heavy fuel oils to the list of named substances in Part A of Schedule 1 to the 1992 Regulations. The effect of this is that an establishment where heavy fuel oils are present in a quantity equal to, or exceeding the controlled quantity (2,500 tonnes) becomes subject to the 1992 Regulations.

NB: existing hazardous substances consents and other specified matters are not affected by the amendment.

Subscribers to our Cardinal Environment paid-for EHS Legislation Registers already have SEVESO III loaded where relevant. These amendments will be consolidated into the Cardinal consolidated COMAH and Planning Hazardous Substances Regulations shortly. Attention will be drawn to this clarification in Annual Reviews.

Please note: to date this SEVESO III clarification is added to the British COMAH Regulations, and the English Planning Hazardous Substances Regulations only.

Scottish Independence Referendum (UK) Query

The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 is here.

The Bill for this Act of the Scottish Parliament was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 14 November 2013 and received Royal Assent on 17th December 2013. The Edinburgh Agreement 2012 between the UK Government and the Scottish Government is here.

The date on which the poll at the referendum is to be held is 18 September 2014, unless before then an order is made to hold the referendum on another date. In any event, the referendum must be held by 31st December 2014.

Subscribers to our Cardinal Environment paid-for subscription services will continue to be updated on each EHS law change as it occurs (whether by the UK, the devolved administrations of the UK, or by a newly independent Scotland nation).

UK Offshore Oil & Gas (Wood Review)

Updated 24th February 2014

Here is Sir Ian Wood’s Final Report (UKCS Maximising Recovery Review – the Wood Review).

Here is the PM Office press release of 24th February pledging action, in particular:

“The measures announced today include:

a joint commitment between government and the industry to ensure production licences are awarded on the basis of recovering the maximum amount of petroleum from UK waters as a whole rather than just each individual licence block

– greater collaboration between industry and government, for example by better sharing infrastructure, geophysical information and cutting red tape

a new independent regulator to supervise licensing and ensure maximum collaboration between companies to explore, develop and produce oil and gas”

Here is the DECC press release on the same subject, including:

Carbon Capture and Storage CCS – “Peterhead and White Rose CCS projects are the EU’s largest commercially sized projects with this phase supported by around £100m from the UK Government.”

Independent regulator – “DECC officials are undertaking detailed planning work around establishing the new arms-length body and aim to have the new body in operation, at least in shadow form, by the Autumn 2014.”

Decommissioning relief – ” the decommissioning relief certainty, introduced in October 2013, alone is worth upwards of £20bn.”

Here is DECC information about CCS.

Here is Shell information on the Peterhead CCS.

Here is the Scottish Government press release on its proposals for a new Energy Department.

Here is the Scottish Government announcement of 10.6m funding for a new Aberdeen-based Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC).

Illegal Wildlife Trade (London Declaration)

The London Declaration (13th February 2014) adopted by 46 states is here.

The Declaration summarises the conclusions of the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade in London on 13 February 2014, and sets out the political commitment reached, and the actions agreed, by the international community, in tackling the illegal wildlife trade and its impacts.

Speaking on behalf of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP Deputy Executive Director, highlighted that environmental rule of law in relation to the illegal exploitation of wildlife and timber will feature as a key topic during the first-ever UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in June 2014.

The Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), John Scanlon, noted the collaborative approach taken by the Convention, focusing on how Parties could collaborate across source, transit and destination States to solve the problems rather than seeking to attribute blame. At the meeting, Botswana announced that it will host a high-level follow-up event in 2015 to discuss progress in tackling the illegal wildlife trade. Together with Chad, Gabon and Tanzania, it also pledged to honor a 10-year moratorium on the sale of ivory.

A day prior to the conference, the US announced that it would ban commercial trade in ivory and released a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.

Further information is found here.

The CITES Press Release is here.

Danish River Basin Plans (EU legal proceedings)

The European Commission is taking Denmark to the EU Court of Justice for a failure to present plans for managing its river basins. These plans are essential to put the measures in place to achieve the objective of ‘good status’ for Danish waters by 2015 and should have been adopted before December 2009. Press Release.

Under the EU Water Framework Directive, Member States must publish a management plan for each river basin district under their control, with Member States that share international rivers working together to produce a single international river basin management plan. The public and other interested parties must be consulted on such plans, which are then published in draft form, allowing six months for comments in writing. The plans had to be sent to the Commission in 2010.

Denmark missed the original deadline for submitting its plans, and the Commission opened an infringement procedure. Denmark then adopted the required plans in 2012. Shortly after their adoption however, the Danish Courts found that the consultation period set by the authorities for comments on the draft plans had been too short under Danish law, and the plans were therefore annulled.

This led to a situation in which, several years after the deadline, Denmark still had no river basin management plans in place. The Commission therefore re-opened the infringement procedure and Denmark confirmed in December 2013, the absence of management plans, noting that adoption was unlikely before mid-2014. The case is therefore being referred to the Court.

Opencast Coal Restoration Consultation (Scotland)

The Scottish Government is presently consulting on restoration activities in the opencast coal sector. The consultation seeks views on more effective regulation to secure restoration at existing and future (opencast) coal mines where coaling is incomplete and for future sites including extensions.

Documents relating to this consultation are here.

Consultation ends 27th February 2014.

Climate Bill Consultation (Denmark)

The Danish government (the Social Democrats and the Social Liberals), the Socialist People’s Party, Red Green Alliance and the Conservative People’s Party agreed 6th February to establish an overall strategic framework for national climate policy in order to convert to a low-carbon society by 2050.

To deliver this, the Parties agreed to adopt a new climate bill with the following content:
A. Establishment of an independent Climate Council drawing on highly qualified academics by 1st January 2015
B. Annual Climate Policy Report
C. Process for establishing national climate goals
D. Financing of the climate change law and the Climate Council
E. Establishment of an independent, academically based Climate Council

The parties also agreed that they stand behind the government’s target of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020.

Lovforslaget er en udmøntning af de politiske aftaler af 6. februar 2014 om det nationale klimamål i 2020 og 6. februar 2014 om Danmarks Klimalov, Klimaråd og nationale klimamålsætninger, jf. vedlagte høringsudgave af forslag til klimalov.

Public consultation is underway – here.

Energy Act 2013 (UK) Query

My post in December about progress with certain aspects of the Energy Bill 2013-2014 is here. This Bill led to the Energy Act 2013.

The Energy Act gained royal assent on 18th December 2013. Information on its content is here.

The Energy Act 2013 itself is here. It will be commenced in date groups, per issued Commencement Orders.

The first provisions of the Energy Act 2013 will enter into force according to the schedule identified in Commencement No 1 Order 2014 (the first date is 18th Feb, the next is 10th March and then there is 1st April) – here.

Further Commencement Orders will commence other sections.

UK Persistent Air Pollution (EU legal proceedings)

Letter of formal notice of legal proceedings is issued today by the European Commission to the UK for breach of the EU Directive on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air in Europe. Press Release.

The UK has two months to respond.

The EU Directive contains flexibility as regards the deadlines for returning air pollution to safe levels. Although the original deadline for meeting the limit values was 1 January 2010, extensions have been agreed with Member States which had a credible and workable plan for meeting air quality standards within five years of the original deadline, i.e. by January 2015. The UK has not presented any such plan for the zones in question.

The UK Supreme Court has already declared that air pollution limits are regularly exceeded in 16 zones across the UK. The areas affected are Greater London, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Teesside, the Potteries, Hull, Southampton, Glasgow, the East, the South East, the East Midlands, Merseyside, Yorkshire & Humberside, the West Midlands, and the North East. The Court also noted that air quality improvement plans estimate that for London compliance with EU standards will only be achieved by 2025, fifteen years after the original deadline, and in 2020 for the other 15 zones.

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HSE Injuries & Fatalities Roundup (19th Feb) (UK)

Improper Asbestos Management (the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006) – Scottish health board guilty of safety failings resulting in worker exposure to asbestos fibres during a seven-year period. Fine is £10,000 for breach of Regulation 4(10)(b). Press release.

Roof Fall (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – farming partnership guilty of safety failings after a worker sustains serious injuries from a fall from the roof of a cowshed during its dismantling. Fine is £6,670 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Work Equipment Risk Failings (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – groundworks company guilty of safety failings after a worker sustains a leg amputation after his leg is crushed between a tractor pulling a heavy water bowser and the bucket of a loading shovel. Fine is £32,000 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Machinery Guarding Failings (angle grinder) (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – company guilty of machinery safety failings after a worker is injured by an unguarded angle grinder. Fine is £8,000 plus costs of £8,985 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Workplace Transport Failings (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – farming business guilty of traffic routing safety failings after a pedestrian is killed by a forklift truck. Fine is £165,000 plus costs of £39,500 for breach of Section 2(1) and 3(1). Press release.

Machinery Stop Failings (saw) (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – company guilty of failing to ensure an injection brake is fitted to a circular saw motor leading to the severing of employee fingers during blockage clearance. Fine is £6,000 plus costs of £2,418 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Machinery Guarding Failings (steel pinch rolls) (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – company guilty of safety failings after a worker’s hand became trapped in a pair of steel pinch rolls leading to crush injuries and the amputation of finger parts. Fine is £25,000 plus costs of £8,320 for breach of Section 2(1). Additional breaches are:
Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken… to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”
Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 which states: “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of its employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.” Press release.

Ladder Fall (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – owners of a business park guilty of work at height safety failings after a local worker fractures an ankle in a fall from a ladder while carrying out work in a disused premises nearby. Fine is £7,000 plus costs of £1,355 for breach of Section 3(1). Press release.

Lifting Equipment Failings (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – manufacturer of chains for conveyor belts, escalators and forklift trucks guilty of not having a safe system for moving heavy tooling equipment, following worker hand injury (finger amputation). Fine is £80,000 plus costs of £12,696 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.