Shell takes high ground over petrol station pollution

A levy on petrol sales to pay for the clean-up of contaminated soil and groundwater beneath petrol stations has been urged by a senior Shell UK manager. The company has found contamination on one-third of its own sites and believes that other retailers have similar problems - but their ability to pay for the clean-up is being damaged by price-cutting driven by the supermarket chains.

The unexpected call for a green levy on petrol was made by David Pirret, General Manager of Shell UK's Retail Division, at an Institute of Petroleum conference in London on 29 April.

Shell, Mr Pirret explained, is conducting a programme to assess the pollution risks posed by its petrol stations. The work has revealed that one-third of its 1,100 sites are contaminated "to a greater or lesser extent". Other oil companies undoubtedly have si

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