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Journal Articles Natures Sciences Sociétés Year : 2019

The implementation of a technological risks prevention plan: economic acceptability vs. risk reduction

La mise en œuvre d’un plan de prévention des risques technologiques : acceptabilité économique vs réduction des risques

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Abstract

The problem of industrial disaster risks was raised at the earliest stages of industrialization and has been addressed, particularly since the 1970s, by European regulations, i.e. the Seveso directives and their national adaptation. Following the disaster at the AZF plant in Toulouse (September 2001), a specific text was adopted by the French State: The Major Technological and Natural Risks Act, commonly known as the “Bachelot Act” (July 2003). This act aims, notably, to implement Technological Risks Prevention Plans (PPRTs) in “upper-tier Seveso” sites. In this perspective, we deal with the shaping of a PPRT in an industrial port area, that of Le Havre-Gonfreville. The analysis of the conditions, forms and effects of the setting-up of the PPRT leads to two conclusions. On the one hand, we observe that the notion of “economic acceptability”, which allows companies to challenge administrative requirements, although regulatory, is not defined by any specific regulation. As a result, the Bachelot Act designed to protect urban areas, ultimately creates a tension between Seveso and non-Seveso economic activities. On the other hand, our paper shows that, in order to defuse this tension, local decision-makers engaged in a process of distorting the Bachelot Act, which was accepted by the State through local arrangements. In the end, in such an industrial port area, the Bachelot Act had the effect of tightening risk prevention, but not without coming up against the limits set by the undefined notion of economic acceptability.
Ce texte s’intéresse à la loi Bachelot (juillet 2003) et à la mise en œuvre d’un plan de prévention des risques technologiques majeurs (PPRT) dans une zone industrialo-portuaire. D’une part, on peut observer que la notion d’acceptabilité économique, qui permet aux entreprises de faire face aux exigences administratives, est réglementaire mais pas réglementée. En conséquence, la loi destinée à protéger l’industrie et les zones urbaines engendre finalement une tension entre activités économiques Seveso et non Seveso. D’autre part, ce texte montre comment, pour sortir de ce blocage, les décideurs locaux s’engagent dans une démarche d’adaptation de la loi Bachelot que l’État accepte de déformer, à travers des arrangements avec des décideurs locaux.

Dates and versions

hal-03442847 , version 1 (23-11-2021)

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Marie-Gabrielle Suraud. La mise en œuvre d’un plan de prévention des risques technologiques : acceptabilité économique vs réduction des risques. Natures Sciences Sociétés, 2019, 27 (3), pp.267-277. ⟨10.1051/nss/2019042⟩. ⟨hal-03442847⟩
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