New environmental legislation for Scottish petrol stations

A new Petrol Vapour Recovery (PVR) standard which captures petrol vapours released into the environment from larger petrol stations is set to become a legislative requirement in Scotland.

The content of the new standard is currently under consultation by the Scottish Environment Protection agency (SEPA), and follows on from an initial consultation in December 2010. It is expected the finalised standard, which aims to provide better environmental regulation, will be introduced at the start of 2012.

As part of the measures, petrol recovery for the refuelling of motor vehicles, known as PVR Stage II, will only apply to existing petrol stations with an annual petrol throughput of 3,500 cu m or more.

Meanwhile, the PVR Stage I rules will cover the unloading of petrol from mobile containers, such as tankers. Deliveries of petrol will still be allowed to take place at anytime.

SEPA head of operations Janice Milne, said: “SEPA wants to reduce the regulatory burden on petrol stations and we believe that the introduction of standard rules will bring a range of potential benefits for businesses regulated under PPC.

“One of the areas we sought views on was the greater use of statutory obligations, notifications and registrations for lower risk sites. 82% of respondents supported the idea and SEPA chose to develop the principle within its regulatory regime. The introduction of standard rules for petrol vapour recovery activities is part of this new approach.”

Changes to the way operators apply for PVR standard rules permits will also be made, and as a result, from January 2012 operators will be able to apply and pay for their application using the SEPA website.

Ms Milne added: “If PVR Stage II applies to an operator’s station, they need to apply for a ‘substantial variation’ to their current permit in January and February 2012. If PVR Stage II does not apply to their site, they do not have to do anything.”

A copy of the consultation can be found here.

Carys Matthews

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