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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Petrol vapour recovery at filling stations for cleaner air

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Petrol vapour recovery at filling stations for cleaner air

Petrol vapours emitted during refuelling of motor vehicles are harmful to human health and the environment. With a 2009 directive, the European Union (EU) is taking action to recover such vapours.

ACT

Directive 2009/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 on stage II petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of motor vehicles at service stations

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS DIRECTIVE DO?

It ensures the recovery of harmful petrol vapour that would otherwise be emitted during the refuelling of a motor vehicle at a service station. The petrol pumps of many EU service stations will have to be equipped to recover this vapour.

KEY POINTS

  • This directive applies to new and majorly refurbished service stations that have an annual throughput of more than 500 m3 of petrol, and service stations with an annual throughput of more than 100 m3 that are located under living accommodations. They are obliged to install stage II petrol vapour recovery (PVR) systems.
  • Large service stations that have an annual throughput of 3 000 m3 must install PVR systems by 2018.
  • The PVR equipment must be certified by the manufacturer in accordance with relevant technical standards and must be able to capture at least 85 % of petrol vapour.
  • The efficiency of PVR equipment must be tested once every year, or every 3 years if the service station has automatic monitoring equipment.
  • Service stations that install PVR equipment must notify consumers about the equipment by placing a sign, sticker, or other notification on or around the petrol dispenser.
  • The test methods and standards used to determine the efficiency of PVR systems are harmonised under Directive 2014/99/EU.

BACKGROUND

Petrol is a complex mixture of volatile organic compounds which readily evaporate into the air where they contribute to several pollution problems. These include excessive levels of toxic benzene in ambient air and photochemical formation of ozone which is an air pollutant causing respiratory illnesses such as asthma. In addition, ozone is a greenhouse gas.

For more information, see petrol storage and distribution on the European Commission’s website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2009/126/EC

31.10.2009

1.1.2012

OJ L 285 of 31.10.2009, pp. 36-39

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2014/99/EU

12.11.2014

12.5.2016

OJ L 304, 23.10.2014, pp. 89-90

last update 11.08.2015

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