The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Public Health Agency are mandated by the government to investigate and propose measures to counter and prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria from cooling towers and facilitate infection detection in the event of an outbreak.
The authorities are proposing that the notification obligation be incorporated into the Decree (1998:889) on environmentally hazardous activities and health protection. The purpose is for the municipal supervisory authorities to be aware of where the cooling towers are located and who is the operator. This will facilitate preventive supervision as well as infection detection in the event of an outbreak of Legionella bacteria. In the long term, the goal of the proposal is to reduce the risk of falls and outbreaks of Legionella infection caused by cooling towers.
The duty to report also entails more stringent requirements for operator self-monitoring, since activities subject to notification are covered by the requirements under the Autonomous Control Act. This is expected to improve the maintenance of cooling towers.
In order for municipalities to become aware of cooling towers within the activities subject to licensing, it is suggested that activities, through Annual Environmental Reports (NFS 2016:8), inform the supervisory authority if they have cooling towers.
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