I therefore call on the European Commission to take into account the lessons of the disaster in Toulouse when revising

the Seveso II directive. Almost every day, many demonstrations take place in Toulouse, in which thousands of people take part, chanting ‘Never again, never again!’ I would like everyone in this House to respond to them with ‘Never again in Europe!’ ‘Never again!’ ‘Never again!’ is what tens of thousands of Toulouse’s citizens are shouting and calling for. You also mentioned the debate that is underway on how to best reconcile land use planning, environmental risk, industrial risk and employment. The work that you have carried out with the aim of revising the Seveso directive should take into account every aspect of this balance. It is 31 years since the Seveso disaster, not to mention the other disasters that have occurred, and two European directives seeking to provide the Member States with a harmonised policy in managing around 8000 major industrial establishments will not have been enough to avoid another human tragedy. This is a stark reality that illustrates the limits of a law, even where this is binding and transnational. We should avoid responding to this industrial catastrophe with a Seveso III directive. All Member States strictly apply the provisions of the existing legislation, particularly the Seveso II directive, which dates back to December 1996. And we still have a long way to go before this can be done, with infringement proceedings launched against six Member States, one of which is France. the monitoring of land use planning in areas surrounding these sites. The AZF factory was nothing more and nothing less than a time bomb situated less than five kilometres from the centre of Toulouse, a city with a population of 400 000 if they relocate, they will undergo restructuring and will make substantial operational savings. esources, therefore, but we must also avoid causing social problems. more restrictive regulations the inspection body responsible for the Midi-Pyrénées region has 17 inspectors to inspect over 2000 companies. serious safety lapses in the chemical industry in other parts of the country. even make access to dangerous sites more secure Was this an accident, a malicious act or a terrorist attack? precautionary principle in land use planning. building permits are still being issued for communal housing, less than 800 metres from the site. problems of urban growth, safety programme in place. There has been no consultation with local associations or with residents, despite the dangers. Locally elected representatives are equally responsible for what has happened. Association “Plus jamais ça, ni ici, ni ailleurs » could be translated into « Never this again, here or elsewhere. This association was formed by victims, victims’families, friends and

volontiers. It remains active to date in seeking answers and compensation, helping the communities and in the legal proceeding against involved parties risk prevention policy esponsibility of inspectors, who must be trained to European standards Chemical as well as nuclear bombs are located near to most European cities and yet no assessment of the risks has been made. o adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the citizens the highest level of safety in their workplace and in their everyday lives. What Europe needs today is more than just a Seveso III. This plant was established in the 1920s. As you know, the Seveso II directive concerns new facilities pen and transparent process of consultation and discussion with Member States and with all involved stakeholders in order to see what we can do to improve our existing directives and make them more effective in trying to prevent this type of accident. Computer simulations show that explosions in chemical plants and oil and gas facilities cause fatalities within a 400-m radius as a result of collapsing buildings. This is confirmed by wellknown cases like the incident in Toulouse in 2001, when about 400 tonnes of the artificial fertiliser ammonium nitrate exploded. The result: 30 killed, 2,240 injured, and severe property damage within a 350-m radius of the plant; all the fatalities were within this radius too. Windows were shattered 2–3 km away. The economic loss is estimated at €2.3bn, the insured loss at €1.931bn. Exactly 80 years before to the day, on 21 September 1921, approx. 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser exploded at BASF’s Oppau works. 561 people were killed. Window-panes were broken 6 km away in Mannheim. Even in Heidelberg, 23 km from the explosion, shop windows were cracked. 7,000 were injured and 500 killed in an explosion catastrophe at a propane and butane storage facility in San Juan Ixhuatepec (Mexico City) on 19 November 1984. Most of those killed were found within a 300-m radius of the warehouse. The storage facility was originally built in a remote area but was now surrounded by housing for about 40,000 people. Many of the dwellings were only 130 m from the warehouse. In this case, a huge amount of explosive material was involved, but small amounts can have a major impact too. For example, the explosion of a pressure tank containing no more than 20 tonnes of liquefied gas would be likely to cause building damage, fatalities, and flying debris within a radius of 300 m. Windows would break as far as one kilometre away.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful