Parliament support for cleaner petrol stations

April 9, 2009

Legislation to force the largest filling stations to fit vapour recovery technology moved a step closer, when the European Parliament's environment committee approved a Commission proposal.

The Commission has suggested that all service stations selling more than 3000 cubic metres of petrol and diesel should install systems to recover 85% of escaped vapour by 2020.

The Parliament’s rapporteur Dimitrios Papadimoulis wanted a start date of 2015, the requirement to be 95%, and for it to apply to filling stations selling more than 2000m3. MEPs agreed on a compromise start date of 2018, for 90% of vapour to be recovered, and for 3000m3 to be the threshold, though with all filling stations beneath residential buildings to be included.

The full Parliament will vote next month, after which it will return to governments. Escaped vapour at filling stations includes the cancer-causing benzene, and can led to the formation of ground-level ozone.

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