In accordance with Article 271b of the Act of 27 April 2001, Environmental Protection Law (Dz. U. of 2013, item 1232, as amended), Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection is competent to implement Minister’s of the Environment tasks related to: prevention of the major accidents, transboundary effects of the accident and accidental pollution of boundary waters.
Act of 27 April 2001 – Environmental Protection Law (particularly title IV thereof) implements the provisions of Council Directive 96/82/EC on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, the so-called “SENSO II” Directive (OJ L 10 of 14.01.1997, p. 13, as amended) and Convention on the Transboundary Effects on Industrial Accidents (Dz. U. of 2004, No 129, item 1352). The aforementioned legal acts regulate issues related to prevention of major accidents that may result from the specific industrial activities and reduction of their effects on human health and environment.
The detailed functions of the Inspectorate of Environmental Protection related to the prevention of major accidents are determined in Act of 20 July 1991 on Inspection for Environmental Protection (Dz. U. of 2013, item 686, as amended). The aforementioned functions include:
- control of the operators whose activity may constitute the cause of major accident;
- carrying out training for administrative authorities and authorities referred to in paragraph 1;
- research on causes of the effects of major accidents on environment and ways of their elimination;
- keeping register of plants, whose activity may cause major accidents, including plants with increased or high risk of occurrence of accident within the meaning of the environmental protection provisions;
- ensuring, at least annually, controls of plants with high risk and at least every two years controls in plants with increased risk.
- keeping register of the major accidents.
The Inspectorate of Environmental Protection cooperates with the competent authorities in preventing major accident and supervises the elimination of the effects of this accident.
National legislation on the prevention of major accidents are regulated by the following legal acts:
- Act of 27 April 2001 – Environmental Protection Law (Dz. U. of 2013, item 1232, as amended) and implementing acts issued on its basis:
- Ordinance of the Minister of Economy of 10 October 2013 on the types and quantities of dangerous substances whose presence in the plant results in the plant's classification as a higher risk plant or a plant with a high risk of a major industrial accident (Dz. U. of 2013, item 1479),
- Ordinance of the Minister of Economy and Labour of 29 May 2003 on requirements to be met by report on the safety of the high risk plant (Dz. U. No 104, item 970, as amended),
- Ordinance of the Minister of Economy of 17 July 2003 on requirements to be met by the emergency plans (Dz. U. No 131, item 1219, as amended),
- Ordinance of the Minister of the Environment of 4 June 2002 on the detailed scope of information that are required to be made public by Voivodeship Commander of the State Fire Service (Dz. U. No 78, item 712);
- Act of 20 July 1991 on Inspection for Environmental Protection (Dz. U. of 2013, item 686, as amended) and issued on its basis Ordinance of the Minister of the Environment of 30 December 2002 on major accidents that are subject to notification to Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection (Dz. U. of 2003, No 5, item 58);
- Act of 27 March 2003 on spatial planning and development (Dz. U. of 2012, item 647, as amended);
- Act of 3 October 2008 on the provision of information on the environment and its protection, public participation in environmental protection and environmental impact assessments (Dz. U. of 2013, item 1235, as amended).