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House of Commons Hansard
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Oikos: Canvey Island
29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will ensure that the revised safety reports made by (a) the local planning authority and (b) the emergency planning authority in respect of the Oikos site on Canvey Island under the provisions of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 are published as soon as each is completed. [322819]

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[holding answer 18 March 2010]: There is no duty under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (as amended) (‘COMAH’) for the local planning authority or the emergency planning authority to produce safety reports in respect of the Oikos site on Canvey Island.

Oikos Storage Ltd. as the COMAH operator is required under the regulations to produce a safety report to demonstrate they are taking all necessary measures to prevent major accidents and to limit their consequences to people and the environment.

The COMAH Competent Authority comprising (in England and Wales) the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency are responsible for assessing the safety report. The Competent Authority does not publish COMAH safety reports.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) improvement notices have been issued and (b) changes of use have been recorded in respect of the Oikos site on Canvey Island controlled under the provisions of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 in the last five years. [322820]

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[holding answer 18 March 2010]: No improvement notices have been issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (as amended) in respect of the Oikos site on Canvey Island in the last five years.

Oikos Storage Ltd. has hazardous substances consent from Castle Point borough council to store at its Canvey Island site up to 232,501 tons of highly flammable liquids. HSE understands that there have been no applications to alter the existing hazardous substances consent for this site in the last five years. This and other planning applications are matters for Castle Point borough council as the local planning authority.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will direct the Health and Safety Executive to examine proposals to store petroleum and similar substances at the Oikos terminal on Canvey Island; and if she will make a statement. [322821]

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[holding answer 18 March 2010]: Oikos Storage Ltd. will be required under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (as amended) (‘COMAH’) to review and, where necessary, revise its COMAH safety report in the light of proposals to store petroleum and similar substances at its Canvey Island site and to demonstrate that it is taking all necessary measures to prevent major accidents and to limit the consequences to people and the environment.

Such measures will include implementing and maintaining the minimum safety and environmental standards for fuel storage sites. These have been revised following the investigation into the explosion and fires at the Buncefield fuel storage site in December 2005. They have recently been published as the Process Safety Leadership Group’s (PSLG) final report which is available on the HSE website.

The Health and Safety Executive will assess any significant changes that are made to the site and to the COMAH safety report in its role as part of the COMAH Competent Authority.