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Project Overview

Project title: REACH Protocol for Emissions and Accident Scenarios in Supply and Distribution of Fuels and Petrochemical products.

The scope of the proposed project is to develop, promote and disseminate the provisions of a novel HSE Protocol based on the best industrial practices and procedures for the prevention of emissions and accidental releases of fuels and other petrochemicals in Greece during the supply and transportation stages of the products’ Life Cycle.

The protocol will systematise all Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) critical information concerning “strictly controlled conditions” of environmentally hazardous substances transported via road, rail and sea and conveyed through transmission and distribution pipelines. The main focus will be given to the spills and the accidental releases during the Life Cycle of widely used fuels and oils and other hazardous substances, covered by European regulations such as REACH, CLP, ADR, etc. A broad research on procedures will be implemented, targeting on the development of elaborated measures for EU’s environmental and health policy. Applied methods such as Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) tools, HSE practices, controlling measures and procedures for reducing spill probability and environmental damage will be considered in the development of the proposed Protocol. Quantitative indices for the measurement of terrestrial and marine pollution will be examined for the assessment of efficiency of implemented practices.

In Greece are applied the same standards and regulatory requirements in the fuel distribution and supply chain as in the rest of EU member states. Internal European market and market competition rules force producers from all around Europe, to respect international standards in order to secure their market share. Distinct differences may be identified between European companies, controlling authorities and users in the level of implementation of HSE standards mainly caused by differences in inspection and auditing mechanisms. In this respect, the project results should contribute to harmonize implementation levels through the improvement of HSE inspection and auditing procedures. As a consequence, HSE controls may be simplified and implementation levels may be substantially raised.

The adoption and use of a common general Protocol will support the dissemination of HSE critical information and technical support to relevant stakeholders. Target groups include authorities involved in the management of chemical risks, industries and SMEs involved in the supply chain, storage, production line and transportation activities as well as employees working with or handling systems where environmentally hazardous chemicals are involved.

The proposed project will provide a solid technical background in support of REACH regulation concerning the development of medium- and long-term policies and tools for the implementation of HSE regulations on Hazardous Chemicals (HazChem) in Greece and Cyprus.

Project objectives

The objective of the project is to develop a Protocol of good practices comprising essential HSE management system provisions, procedures, obligations and recommendations to all stakeholders in the management of chemical risks related to the supply and distribution of fuels, petrochemical products and other dangerous substances in Greece. Its ultimate scope is to support the implementation of HSE regulations on HazChem to reduce health and environmental consequences from emissions and accidental releases of such hazardous substances to vulnerable receptors as well as of REACH in regulating chemical substances. This will involve the design and implementation of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for supply, transportation, handling and loading/unloading stages of a product taking into account the probability of accidental spills in surface waters, especially close to Greek coastline, or on soil.

The existing regulatory framework and implemented industrial practices will be recorded. All product transportation stages will be examined using the appropriate LCA methodology based on the results and LCA application in other products. By implementing the LCA in the main transportation stages, certain coefficients, characteristic to each stage (loading/unloading, storage, processes, handling and transport operations) will be deduced and the effects to the environment and the public health and safety will be delineated. Specifications will be developed and recommended actions will be identified as guidelines for the improvement of the existing practices and procedures (onsite and offsite the collaborating refineries).

Prime concern in the development of the Protocol is the definition of “Strictly Controlled Conditions” for the safe handling of larger or smaller quantities of fuels and of other dangerous substances as well as of environmentally hazardous chemicals. All project actions will be developed within the framework of relevant European regulations such as REACH, CLP, ADR, etc.

The Protocol will also address possible emergencies for all selected hazard classes and main parties involved.

It will address all lifecycle stages during supply and transportation and will be divided in four sections, each of which will correspond to different modes of transport: road, rail, sea, pipelines. Each section will be further divided in the selected substance classes and representative hazardous chemicals containing information and measures (technical, organizational, managerial) for all involved parties and users as well as environmental risk assessment results.

In this project four thematic areas of priority are identified:

  • EU Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) legislative requirements,
  • Guidance & Technical Support for REACH regulation,
  • Training and Dissemination of HSE information for the prevention of emissions and accidents involving dangerous substances.

The main objectives of the present proposal through the development of a common REACH oriented Protocol and the demonstration and dissemination of good practices are:

  • to raise the standards and awareness of stakeholders and of the general public on Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) risks related to the supply and distribution of fuels, petrochemical products and other dangerous substances in Greece,
  • to provide a Protocol as the best common practice, auditing and training tool to all stakeholders handling dangerous substances, with the aim to prevent chemical and occupational accidents  and to minimize the impacts of hazardous chemicals to human health and the environment,
  • to support REACH implementation through the use of elaborated Material Safety Data SheetesMSDS (grouped substances with common:  HSE parameters, risk analysis (fires, explosions, toxic clouds), provisions and measures, emergency actions),
  • to provide direct guidance and training to stakeholders in Greece (and Cyprus) and to transfer knowledge and expertise from larger companies to SMEs on national and European harmonised policies and best HSE practices including Emergency  Planning,
  • the safe handling of larger or smaller quantities of chemicals by employees and the wider public through the aspect of Health and Environment Protection of European regulations with focus on REACH principles,
  • to promote Environmental & Health Protection through the dissemination of reliable data,
  • to support the implementation of legislation requirements via intelligent webbased tools and/or personal assistance of a scientific work group,
  • to develop and implement LCA methodologies necessary to recognize health and environmental hazards and to manage the risk related to dangerous substances.

The ultimate goal is to enhance the comprehension of the basic principles and provisions of Environmental Regulations and Policies and of REACH conditions by all stakeholders in order to improve sustainable handling of chemicals, reduce emissions and accidental releases, prevent impacts and manage HSE risks. This will be achieved when stakeholders get accustomed, trained, used to apply and audited by the common Protocol at a regular basis for a long period.

Actions and means involved

The project involves 8 main actions. The actions of the project are in line with its objectives

The project will be managed (Action 1) according to a well defined management plan and the progress will be monitored with progress indicators and the proposed time schedule. Appropriate auditing and afterLIFE communication plan will be carried out.

Preparatory actions involve recording and assessment of existing situation (Action 2). Specifically:

  • Survey for the identification of potential users of selected Hazardous Chemicals (HazChem) (industry, SMEs, transport companies, petrol stations, marshalling yards, storage companies, employees, end users).
  • Identification of EU and national legislation and standards related to users requirements and the implementation of related regulations (REACH, CLP, ADR, IMDG, SEVEZO, etc.) concerning supply, transportation and loading/unloading of dangerous petrochemical products (with different modes: road, rail, waterways, pipelines).
  • Analysis and definition of critical information on Strictly Controlled Conditions (legislation and onsite procedures)
  • Assessment of EU and national situation regarding the transportation and handling cycle of dangerous petrochemicals and of other hazardous substances and identification of all means and operations involved during transportation stages of fuels and oils at national level.
  • Detection methods for Hazardous Chemicals (HazChem) emissions, leaks, spills and damage on air, soil and water. Review of industrial practices, BREFS in monitoring and quantifying emissions to the environment.
  • BATs and Emergency Response Planning for minimizing the environmental damage. Review of practices and standards in the transportation of petrochemicals with focus on potential to environmental damage.

Actions related to REACH framework and HSE parameters in MSDS and onsite measurements (Action 3):

  • Creation of MSDS for substance classes with common and specific environmental and human health parameters for selected substances (e.g. LPG, liquid fuels, lubricants, etc). Development of MSDS databases and search engine for Selected Dangerous Substances (SelDS).
  • Measurements and laboratory analyses of emissions, spills and exposures to water, soil and the atmosphere. In this sub action, analytical samplings and measurements aiming to specify the concentrations (if any) of HazChem in water and soil, as well as the emissions to air in several highly frequented locations around Greece and in many loading/unloading points (ports, loading/unloading installations of ships, trucks, gas stations, etc.) will be carried out. Appropriate technical equipment will be used and laboratory analyses will be performed by existing labs and monitoring stations as well as by specified external bodies.
  • Sample analysis assessment based on compliance with standards and regulatory requirements.

Action 4 is to develop and implement the LCA framework methodology during the full cycle of transportation, handling and loading/unloading phases of widely used fuels and oils and of other hazardous substances in Greece in selected case studies. This Action includes:

  • Determination of LCA framework based on the HazChem taxonomy in line with UNRTDG hazard classes,
  • Determination of material flows, energy coefficients and systems boundaries on transportation, handling and loading/unloading phases of HazChem taking into account the probability of accidental spills in surface waters or on soil,
  • Development of LCA framework models via software taking into account the results of past successful LCA implementations (past LIFE Projects), and
  • Implementation of Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) for the case studies based on the identified HazChem categories in Greece.

Before the development of the Protocol an assessment of results of Actions 3 and 4 is necessary. A combined assessment of the results of the two critical actions of the project is performed, enabling the integration of critical points to be introduced as guidelines to the Protocol. Action 5 (Assessment of results of LCA and REACH based analysis) comprises:

  • Assessment of the environmental impact of LCI results and the results from REACH based analysis in the selected HazChem classes
  • Recommendations and development of specifications for the system optimisation and improvement
  • Preparations of guidelines to be introduced to the Protocol

In Action 6, the outcomes of previous Actions will be utilised to develop the Protocol based on the fundamental elements of the Safety Management Systems (SMS) of SEVESO II Directive, including provisions for identification and evaluation of emissions and accidents, emergencies, monitoring performance and auditing. The Protocol incorporates Risk Assessment (RA) methodologies and includes critical procedures such as: identification of safety critical equipment, accidental scenarios, leak detection systems, minimization of consequences to soil or water, etc. Furthermore it will take on board requirements of Environmental Management Systems and Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. Finally, the structure and contents of the Protocol will be optimized according to target audience requirements and will be validated from identified key users (industrial and market partners).

Actions 7 and 8 include functional tools of an Information Centre for the use of Hazardous Chemicals (HazChem) and dissemination activities of the project results. In Action 7, it is planned to develop  a webbased intelligent tool for the determination of users’ legislative requirements (REACH, CLP, SEVEZO, ADR), a knowledge exchange scheme and an open channel to European and Worldwide audience (eforum) and other specifications (sub –action 7.3).

In Action 8 the dissemination and training activities include:

  • Design, construction and updating of a website promoting the Protocol and all project deliverables and outcomes,
  • Pilot implementation of a helpdesk for registered members with the utilities: Find the legislation relevant to your industry, and Eforum utility
  • Dissemination of HSE critical information acquired from the project progress
  • Awareness raising events, National workshops, publications in special editions, in international journals and national and international conferences, leaflets and brochures, Training Seminars and Elearning courses.

Expected results (outputs and quantified achievements)

Overview of regulations, BATs, BREFs, industrial practices and procedures for Strictly Controlled Conditions in the supply and transportation stages of fuels and selected substances as implemented in Greece. The number of specific reports is defined in the description of Actions.

HSE risks identified per supply and transportation stage (at least 50). At least 100 recent publications will be consulted on environmental and health protection from chemical spills and occupational risks (improvement of environmental and health protection, transfer of results, technical background). Samples are analyzed for specific parameters of interventions (such as CO2, N2O, CH4, NH4, C, H2, N, S, diesel, organic/inorganic fuels, etc) for all relevant impact categories. The number of risks will be quantified as percentage of all possible risks identified per vulnerable receptor in line with MSDS contents. The number of sampling locations per transportation stage will be at least 5 and the number of samples at least 10 per receptor.  At least 500 samples are expected to be analyzed.

Generalized Material Safety Data Sheets (Generalized MSDS): A grouping of the selected substances will be performed based on their common or similar HSE parameters or on the provisions and measures identified in their formal MSDS as imposed by REACH. Single indices or appropriate combination of them into indicators will support the examination of selected substances in groups that participate in common accidental phenomena (fires, explosions, toxic clouds), require common emergency actions, refer to common HSE provisions or address common issues in their Risk Management System. The target is to create eight (8) Generalized MSDS based on 8 hazard classes of all selected substances.

Development of the PROTOCOL containing best industrial practices and procedures for hazardous chemicals. The Protocols’ procedures and recommendations are innovative aspects and the main expected results of the project. Consultation during development and validation of the protocol will be performed by 10 key potential users. The protocol will address all lifecycle stages during supply and transportation and will be divided in four sections, for different modes of transport: road, rail, sea, pipelines. The sections will be further divided in the 8 Generalized MSDS. The Protocol will be presented in the form of a practical handbook/manual and will be promoted via dissemination activities and distributed as a special edition in 500 copies.

Functional tools of an information centre. Target 5 tools.

Dissemination and training activities: Dissemination of the project’s main results users in Greece and Cyprus, managers, workers, consumers, competent authorities, industries, SMEs and the public

Eportal with: a) webbased intelligent tool for the determination of users’ legislative requirements, target     5000 hits first year and b) eforum, target 100 users.

3 informational events tailored made for a. distributors e.g. filling stations, b. carriers e.g. truck tanks, c. controlling authorities e.g. Gen. Chem. State Laboratory, Port authorities (target 70 participants in total)

Website promoting the Protocol as well as all project deliverables and outcomes, 5.000 hits the first year

2 awareness raising events. Number of participants at each event (at least 50)

2 national workshops. Number of participants at each workshop 50

3 publications in conferences,

3 publications in scientific journals and at least 1 special edition per selected target group

1 seminar per targetgroup (target 5 seminars, 20 trainees per seminar)

10000 Leaflets distributed, 3 notice boards