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Transport & Environment

Petrol Storage & Distribution

Petrol is a complex mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which readily evaporate into the atmosphere where they contribute to several air pollution problems. These include excessive levels of benzene in ambient air and photochemical formation of ozone which is both an air pollutant and a greenhouse gas.

Stage I Petrol Vapour Recovery

Directive 1994/63/EC aims to prevent emissions to the atmosphere of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the storage of petrol at terminals and its subsequent distribution to service stations. The Directive contains measures that terminals should employ such as floating roofs and reflective coatings so as to reduce evaporative losses from storage tanks. In addition when petrol is loaded onto tankers and transported to service stations the directive ensures that any vapours are recovered and returned to the tanker or terminal.

The Commission has appointed ENTEC UK Limited to undertake an assessment of the implementation of the Stage I directive in 2008 and early 2009. This will also look at the potential for simplification.

Useful links:

December 2005 - report for the Commission on implementation challenges for new Member States and Candidate countries.

Stage II Petrol Vapour Recovery

The Council and the European Parliament adopted a new directive 2009/126/EC  to ensure the recovery of petrol vapour that would otherwise be emitted to the air during the refuelling of vehicles at service stations .  The Member States have until 31 December 2011 to transpose the Directive into national law.

The Commission's original proposal, impact assessment, impact assessment summary and press release can be downloaded:

Useful links: