WIT Press

The Atypical Assessment Of Risk And Disaster Management In Municipalities That Have Seveso II Production And Storage Sites On Their Territory


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WIT Press


D. Manca & S. Colombo


The integration of chemical hazards into the analysis of natural risks, for land use planning purposes, imposes changing perspective. Private major plants usually originate chemical hazards. Consequently, the information necessary for the characterization of risks is filtered by the property itself according to company policies. Safety analysts, working for the municipality, have to negotiate with the property the information concerning the actual risks associated with the plant. Another constraint, which further complicates the inclusion of chemical hazards into the risk analysis, is the difficulty of communicating at the multidisciplinary table with the representatives of natural risks. Actually, chemical risk is substantially different from natural risk, at least when it concerns the dynamics of accident scenarios (extremely fast with no pre-alerting signs) and the modalities (hardly confinable). QUATER, a European Community interregional safety project, developed a methodology to enable decision-makers taking pronouncement based on a more solid and risk-oriented ground. This paper, starting from the outcomes of a real case study, describes how chemical hazards can be integrated into the overall risk analysis associated with the municipality territory. It also describes why and how a negotiating figure should be set by the municipality, between council leaders and the plant property, in order to provide safety analysts with the necessary knowledge. A practical tool to perform a rough estimate of the level of chemical risk present on the municipality is also described. Such a tool should be used in the decision making process that brings the definition of the land use. In particular, a nondimensional index, Chemical Hazard Index, is presented and discussed. Finally, we explain how and why this index should be adopted as a driving force to further deepen the safety analysis as well as improving the authority decisions. Keywords: chemical and industrial risk, hazard, emergency preparedness, disaster management, land-use planning.


chemical and industrial risk, hazard, emergency preparedness, disaster management, land-use planning.