Plans to simplify petrol storage legislation

Plans to simplify petrol storage legislation


Author: Sophie Wilkinson

The Health and Safety Executive is consulting on changes to legislation concerning storage of petrol, with the aim of simplifying and modernising it.

The proposal is to create one new set of regulations to replace eight existing pieces of legislation that currently apply to petrol storage.

The main change for operators of petrol filling stations is a move away from licensing to petroleum storage certificates, which will authorise storage arrangements. The licensing regime will, however, remain for domestic premises.

The new certificates will remain valid unless there is a material change to storage arrangements or the site is closed. They will relate to the site, so there will be no requirement to transfer the certificates where there is a change of site operator.

Instead, there will be a duty on the existing operator to inform the regulator about leaving the site at least 28 days before the change of ownership, and a corresponding duty on the new operator.

Material changes are specified as installation of new tanks, pipelines, pumps or dispensers, removal or decommissioning of tanks and stopping use of tanks for a period of up to 12 months. If a material change is proposed, the regulator must be informed at least 28 days before work starts to ensure the certificate is maintained.

The draft regulations also include provision for:

  • the definition of 'petrol' to be expanded to cover relevant petroleum mixtures
  • transitional arrangements once the new regulations come into force
  • the amounts of petroleum that can be stored at domestic premises and the types of container that can be used

The safe operation of the facility will continue to be governed by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002.

Views have been sought from industry, regulators and other government departments, and the consultation is open for comment until 7 February 2014.