One of the more complex technical projects of Human Dynamics has been running in Serbia since 2012: the EU-funded Law Enforcement in the Field of Industrial Pollution Control, Prevention of Chemical Accidents and Establishing the EMAS System (IPPC project). This is a technically precise project, requiring the improvement of the transposition, implementation and enforcement of key elements of European legislation, notably the Industrial Emissions Directive, the Seveso III Directive and the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).
The items of legislation targeted within the IPPC project are some of the key ones that underpin the whole area of pollution control and regulation across the European Union.
The Industrial Emissions Directive, for example, aims to minimise pollution and harmful industrial emissions throughout the EU (by setting limits across a large range of products and processes ranging from solvents to waste incineration); emissions to air, water and land; the use of raw materials; noise. Further, it seeks to prevent of accidents, as well as restore sites on facility closure. This legislation has been critical in standardising regulation across the EU and in improving the quality of life for EU citizens.
The Seveso series of directives are the main piece of EU legislation that deals specifically with the control of on-shore major accident hazards involving dangerous substances. The series is named after the industrial disaster that look place in July 1976 near Milan, which resulted in the aerial release of dioxins that contaminated the surrounding area and caused negative health effects in hundreds of people. The Seveso III Directive will supersede Seveso II in June 2015.
The underpinnings of the limits to environmental damage – and resultant improvements in quality of life – are often highly technical items of legislation, legal provisions, and procedural processes for industry and regulators in how to enforce them. Correspondingly, in the last year and a half, our project team has provided support to the Serbian Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection in how to transpose EU legislation — i.e. how to ‘convert’ it into the Serbian context — including:
For two main reasons.
Firstly, pollution knows no borders. It is in the interests of the EU to raise the standard of pollution control and regulation in Serbia (and other countries that are looking to join the EU) as this ultimately contributes to environmental quality across all of Europe. To use one example, the River Danube flows through Belgrade and Serbia more widely before (re-)entering Romania and Bulgaria, and Serbia makes up just over 10% of the entire Danube basin area; any pollution here can affect downstream.
Secondly, these environmental elements are a key part of the preparations for the upcoming EU accession negotiations that Serbia is initiating and will need to be accomplished before Serbia can join.
This is an important project. It is critical for raising the standard of the environment in Serbia and will have effects that are felt across the region. Putting in place environmental legislation and increasing the capability and capacity of the authorities to properly police and enforce those standards will have an impact for companies and citizens. Improving the quality of life — and, even deeper, protection against harmful effects — is one of the fundamental drivers of this project. I am proud to be part of the actions aiming to provide better and cleaner environment for citizens of Serbia.
— Ruza Radovic, IPPC Project Manager, Belgrade