The key changes to COMAH according to the press release are:
Scope – as the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations which is currently being phased out and will no longer apply as from 1 June 2015. At that time, the Classification Labelling and Packaging Regulations will take full effect.
Information – all existing and new COMAH sites will have to make information as set out in the draft 2015 Regulations available about the hazards contained on the site “permanently and electronically” to the public.
Other important changes are:
Safety Reports: With the move to CLP all sites will have to review their existing safety
reports to ensure that they are up to date and in line with the requirements contained in CLP.
Notifications – all COMAH sites will need to update their notifications to the CCA.
Emergency Plans: although the SEVESO III Directive has similar requirements for
emergency planning as are contained in the exisitng 1999 COMAH Regulations it does also contain extra requirements applicable to both upper and lower tier operators on the information they supply to the public on what would happen if a major accident were to occur. This will mean that all COMAH sites will have to reveiw their existing emergency planning operations.
Definitions: the draft Regulations have made changes to key definitions for example: presence of dangerous substances.
Neighbouring COMAH sites: finally the duties with regards to “domino effects” and the sharing of information between neighbouring sites.
By way of information, the consultaton started on 2 May and will formally end on 27 June. Anyone wishing to comment may do so online or by email.
Sources : Press Release “Public consultation – Control of Major Accident Hazards Regs 2015” published on the Health and Safety Executive website dated 2 May 2014
Red-on-line EHS Legal Counsel