Few petrol stations have vapour recovery units

Fewer than 4% of the UK's petrol stations are fitted with equipment to recover hydrocarbons emitted during tanker unloading operations, according to a petrol retailing survey by the Institute of Petroleum.

Draft legislation to reduce hydrocarbon emissions along the petrol distribution chain is soon to be issued by the European Commission. The so-called "Stage I" controls will include the fitting of vapour recovery equipment at petrol stations. Existing facilities will have to be retrofitted within 9-10 years after the legislation is agreed (ENDS Report 202, pp 38-9).

The Institute of Petroleum's figures provide the most reliable information to date showing how far the oil industry has anticipated the new controls. A total of 664 petrol stations had been fitted with Stage I controls at the end of 1991. This is 3.45% of the 19,247 stations in operation.

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