Row over VOC controls on petrol stations

The UK is seeking a derogation for small rural petrol stations from an EC proposal to control emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a House of Lords inquiry heard in February. But the basis of the exemption is under attack from the major oil companies, which claim that the cost of upgrading small stations has been exaggerated.

Issued last autumn, the European Commission's "Stage I" proposal is intended to reduce VOC emissions from the petrol distribution chain by 90-95% (ENDS Report 212, pp 30-31 ). The sector accounts for some 3% of man-made VOC emissions in the EC. Stage I includes technical measures such as vapour recovery units on s

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