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Chemical emergencies in Dorset

Information on the chemical sites in Dorset that could, potentially, create an emergency situation, and the contingency planning measures in place to mitigate the effects.

The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH) came into force on 1 April 1999 and are amended by the Control of Major Accident Hazards (Amendment) Regulations 2005 from 30 June 2005.

The Regulations aim to prevent and mitigate the effects of those major accidents involving dangerous substances, such as chlorine, liquefied petroleum gas, explosives and arsenic pentoxide which can cause serious damage/harm to people and/or the environment. The COMAH Regulations treat risks to the environment as seriously as those to people.

The COMAH Regulations are enforced by a competent authority (CA) consisting of (In England and Wales) the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

The chemical manufacturing industry is mainly affected by the regulations, but also some storage activities, explosives and nuclear sites and other industries, where above threshold quantities of dangerous substances identified in the Regulations are kept or used.

The substances which cause the duties to apply are detailed in Schedule 1 of the Regulations as are the quantities which set the two thresholds for application. A link to the Regulations can be found to the right of this page.

Operators of sites that hold larger quantities of dangerous substances ('top tier' sites) are subject to more onerous requirements than those of 'lower tier' sites. In view of this, the Regulations state that an Off-site Emergency Response Plan must be prepared and tested every three years by the Local Authority (in this case, Dorset County Council) to cover areas that may be affected outside of the site's boundaries.

Currently, Perenco Wytch Farm gathering station near the Studland Peninsula is the only top tier COMAH site in Dorset. Organisations that have a role in responding to an incident at the site can view the Wytch Farm Off-site Plan (which is password protected) by clicking on the link located to the right hand side of this page.


From this page you can download: 

If you are a responding organisation but do not have the current password to open the above documents, please contact the Emergency Management & Resilience Unit on the e-mail address provided below.


From this page you can access:

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