Analysis of spatial planning documents and strategic environmentalassessment reports with regard to hazards of major industrialaccidents: a case study involving six Polish cities

Maria Teresa Markiewicz

In the event of an accident in an industrial plant, the damage caused by it can be enormous. There may be environmental contamination in a large area. Injured persons may be both employees of the plant staying on its premises and local residents. The control of major accidents is realised by implementing the procedures regarding: safety analysis, emergency and operational planning, effective land-use planning (LUP), strategic environmental assessment (SEA), environmental impact assessment (EIA) and public consultation. The paper presents findings of a case study aiming to analyse selected spatial planning documents prepared at the municipality and SEA reports accompanying them, with regard to hazards of major industrial accidents in six Polish cities. In addition, changes of relevant Polish legislation taking place from 1995 till now are explained referring to European Union (EU) law. This article is the very first to present the situation concerning LUP around hazardous plants in Poland based on such extensive data. The assessment shows that the way of recording the major accident hazards is varied, but legal norms, binding at the time when the documents were drawn up, were met in each of the analysed documents. Changes of relevant Poland legislation were not the only reason for differences in the ways of recording the hazards of major industrial accidents in these documents. The case study has revealed that relevant Polish regulations can be still improved. The results of the study have useful implications for the control of major accidents, spatial policy-making and environmental management.

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