[holding answer 11 March 2010]: The Secretary of State has received no reports on alternatives to oil storage tanks at the Oikos site on Canvey Island or representations from the Health and Safety Executive on such matters.
Consent for the storage of hazardous chemicals at this site, or any alternative sites, is the responsibility of the local planning authority, which for Canvey Island is Castle Point borough council.
HSE's role is to monitor safety at this site. HSE will continue to do this and will assess any significant changes made to the site and to the site's COMAH safety report as a result of any changes that Oikos may propose.
[holding answer 22 March 2010]: Oikos Oil Storage Ltd. are responsible under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (as amended) for assessing any risks to local residents and businesses from the operations at their Canvey Island site, and for implementing all necessary measures to prevent major accidents and limit their consequences for people and the environment.
Oikos Oil Storage Ltd. has an existing Hazardous Substances Consent from Castle Point borough council to store at its Canvey Island site up to 232,501 tonnes of highly flammable liquids which may include petrol and petroleum mixtures. When the consent was granted in 1992, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) assessed the risks to people off-site from the consented quantity of hazardous substances for the purpose of providing land use planning advice to the borough council. A more detailed assessment was conducted in 2002 to set the current land use planning zones around the site.
Following the explosion and fire at the Buncefield fuel storage terminal, HSE introduced precautionary arrangements to strengthen development controls in the areas closest to sites engaged in filling large storage tanks with petrol at a specified rate.
Petrol is not currently stored at the Oikos Canvey Island site. HSE will review its risk assessment and, if necessary, revise its land use planning advice to Castle Point borough council once Oikos Oil Storage Ltd. provides details of its arrangements for receiving and storing petrol at the site.