New agreements with SEPA

Guy Pulham – the FPS has been active in voicing members concerns and lobbying government about the impact of changes to oil storage in Scotland
Last month, the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) met with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) regarding the introduction of new legislation which affects over 95 heating oil and fuel distribution depots across Scotland.
The new legislation, which came into force in January 2018, has made changes to regulation for sites which store oils under the existing Oil Storage Regulations (OSR) (Scotland), such that they now come under the scope of the amended Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR).
Voicing members concerns about the impact of the new legislation and the timings to comply, FPS was encouraged by positive dialogue during the meeting and has subsequently reached agreement with SEPA on:

  • Extending the period between licence application and deadline for any asset improvement plan (AIP) to 12 months – was 9 months
  • SEPA will interact with members both pre/post licence to find mutually beneficial and cashflow reflective solutions
  • It was agreed to work with Tank Storage Association (TSA) to design a risk related AIP

FPS has also produced and distributed a Pollution Prevention Plan template for members.
Additionally, FPS has requested that SEPA extend the licence deadline from April 30th to June 30th and have been asking Scottish MPs to push this.
Also championing the requested changes is MSP Alex Burnett, Aberdeenshire West, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, with Scottish politician Roseanna Cunningham, cabinet secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform asking the Scottish government to answer question S5W-14829.
The question asked government: 
How much it estimates it will cost for an oil storage facility to comply with the regulations;
What information it has regarding how many sites (a) comply and (b) do not comply with these?
What its position is on extending the deadline to comply for FPS members.
A further update will be issued to FPS members shortly, with the trade associations meeting again at the end of May to develop a risk-based assessment guide to use for improvement plans.
“The FPS was disappointed that after initial consultations on the matter and working with SEPA throughout 2016, they did not contact the FPS again until October 2017,” said Guy Pulham, FPS chief executive.
“The FPS supports the general intent to protect the environment to regulate in this area but we are concerned about the impact to our members businesses of the amended CAR, in particular, timescales to implement changes and the cost of the new legislation.
“We understand that SEPA want to put in place processes that are mutually agreeable, so the work will meet their licence criteria but in a time frame that is cost and cashflow effective for our members.
“The FPS will continue to lobby the Scottish Parliament, holding meetings with MSPs to explain the issues concerning FPS members and continue to work with SEPA encouraging them to look at the cost, the timeframes involved and to make the process clearer and more defined.”