Many service stations require an Environmental Permit, which ensures that controls are in place to recover petrol vapour that can be lost to the atmosphere during the following activities.
The unloading of petrol into stationary storage tanks from a road tanker, and
The refuelling of motor vehicle petrol tanks
Controls to minimise vapour loss from the unloading of petrol into storage tanks are referred to as Stage 1 vapour recovery controls.
Controls to minimise vapour loss from the filling of vehicle tanks are referred to as Stage 2 vapour recovery controls.
Is an Environmental Permit required?
A service station will require an Environmental Permit in the following circumstances.
New Service stations (those brought into operation after 31st December 2009: A permit covering Stage 1 and Stage 2 vapour recovery will be required if the annual throughput of petrol is, or is likely to be, 500m3 or more per annum.
Existing service stations (those brought into operation before 31st December 2009: A permit covering Stage 1 vapour recovery will be required if the annual amount of petrol unloaded at the station is, or is likely to be, 500m3 or more. The permit will also need to cover Stage 2 vapour recovery if the annual throughput of petrol at the station is, or is likely to be, 3500m3 or more.
Service Stations that meet the above thresholds must apply for an Environmental Permit from the Local Authority. It is an offence to operate a service station without one.
Only a person who has control over the operation of a regulated facility may obtain or hold an Environmental Permit. This person is the “operator”. A permit application may be made by an agent on behalf of the operator.
Petrol service stations are permitted under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
How much does it cost?
Fees are required for the application for a permit, annual subsistence of the permit and transfers of the permit. The fees normally change annually so for this year's fees please view the fee information.
When should you apply for a permit?
If you require a permit then one must be obtained before you start to operate a new petrol service station. The Local Authority can take up to 4 months to process an application for a permit and so you must ensure that you allow enough time to obtain the permit before you start operating.
If a permit is granted it will contain conditions imposed by the Local Authority that must be complied with by law. Such conditions aim to ensure that the amount of vapour that can be lost during tanker deliveries and the filling of motor vehicles is minimised.
Petroleum Filling Station Licence
The storage of petrol at a service station is subject to a separate licence Petroleum Filling Station Licence, which is issued by the Petroleum Licensing Authority. The Petroleum Licensing Authority for service stations in the Dudley Borough is:
West Midlands Fire Authority
West Midlands Fire Safety Centre
Variation to a Permit
If a station already has a permit for Stage 1 vapour recovery but the threshold for Stage 2 is likely to be exceeded then the existing permit will need to be varied to incorporate controls for Stage 2 vapour recovery. An application for a variation will need to be made to the local authority. An online application form for a variation is currently under development. At the present time you will need to by downloading the application form at the bottom of this page. You can then send us a completed and signed application form.
How do I apply?
You can apply by any of the following means:
Application Evaluation Process
Pre- application discussions between operators and regulators can help in improving the quality of the formal permit application and are therefore encouraged. The permit application must be made on the form provided, it must include all the information required by the form and it must be accompanied by the relevant fee.
If the application is correctly made and includes the relevant fee it will be “duly made” which means it has been accepted by the Council.
The permit application will not be duly made if for instance;
It has not been submitted on the correct form,
It does not adequately address a key point in the application,
The relevant fee does not accompany the permit application.
How long will my application take to process?
A local authority should determine an application for an A2 installation and for all Part B installations except dry cleaners and small waste oil burners within 4 months of the application being duly made.
This time period of 4 months does not include any time taken for the request for additional information.
The time frame for dry cleaners and small waste oil burners is 3 months.
We will confirm that we have received your application. Please contact us if you have any queries using the details below.
Can I start to operate a permitted process without a permit being issued? (i.e. will tacit consent apply)
No. It is illegal to operate a permitted process without a permit being issued.
No new installation or substantial change to an existing installation may be operated without a permit or variation. It is an offence under EP regulation 38(1)(a) to operate a regulated facility without a permit and to the extent authorised by that permit.
In the event that new categories of activity are subsequently added by future amendments to the EP Regulations, those amendment Regulations are likely to include deadlines by which applications must be made for new and existing installations.
If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page.
Is there a public register available?
Dudley Council maintains a Public Register containing information on all the Permitted Activities within the borough. The full register is available for public viewing online on the Online Environmental Permit Register.
The online Public Consultation Register provides the facility for you to make your feedback online on applications for Environmental Permits and Applications For A Substantial Change to An Existing Permit under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Making a complaint
If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.
It is advisable to contact your trade association for advice about completing the permit application form and methodology for compliance with the legislation.