Directorate-General for Environment – Major Accident Hazard Bureau

Directorate-General for Environment is one of more than 40 Directorates-General and services that make up the European Commission. The objective of the Directorate-General is to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations. The DG makes sure that Member States correctly apply EU environmental protection law as well as finances projects that contribute to environmental protection in EU.

Major Accident Hazards Bureau (MAHB) provides scientific and technical support to the European Commission and DG Environment actions on the control of major accident hazards and prevention and mitigation of their effects. MAHB is a special unit within the Joint Research Centre's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen.

The main tasks of MAHB include:

  • management of the Major Accident Reporting System (MARS). Under the Seveso Directive Member States are called upon to inform the Commission about major accidents within their territory. To help prevent similar accidents, the Commission evaluates this information, details lessons learnt from it, and disseminates the results among Member States;
  • provision of scientific, technical and administrative support to Technical Working Groups (TWG). TWGs involve the national authorities and industry representatives and deal with, among others, development of guidelines and recommendations concerning technical areas in terms of major accidents prevention. Documents drafted by TWG and approved by CCA are disseminated among member States and published on the MAHB website;
  • management of Community Documentation Centre on Industrial Risks (CDCIR). CDCIR is a library and information system related to industrial risks which collects and assesses guidelines, regulations, codes of good practice and histories of the industrial accident cases;

In accordance with Article 271b of the Act of 27 April 2001, Environmental Protection Law, the Minister competent to environmental matters shall inform the European Commission on:

  • major accidents, their effects and results of the analysis of these events,
  • national experiences in the field of the prevention of major accidents,
  • plants that may cause major accidents.

However, in accordance with Article 271b of the Environmental Protection Law, Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection is competent to implement Minister’s of the Environment tasks related to prevention of the major accidents.

Therefore, Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection is competent to cooperate with Major Accident Hazard Bureau.

For more details on the MAHB activity see: http://mahb.jrc.it/.

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