A joint Industry and COMAH Competent Authority (CA) Task Group today called for industry to take immediate measures to implement eight key action points at major petroleum storage facilities. The actions to further improve safety and environmental standards can be found in the Buncefield Standards Task Group: Initial Report at: www.hse.gov.uk/comah/alert.htmThe actions, provide a significant challenge to industry, and are in

response to findings contained in the Buncefield Major Incident

Investigation Board's (MIIB) initial report published in July. These

recommendations, based on the latest information available, are believed to

be precautionary and prudent to offer worthwhile additional public and

environmental protection. The actions relate to:

· Pipeline transfers;
· Tank overfill prevention ? operating safety margins and level alarms;
· Fire safe shut-off valves and remotely operated shut off valves;
· Containment ? bunds and other measures; and
· Shift handover.

The CA are also reviewing the emerging outcomes from the safety and

environmental reviews of fuel depots carried out by the Health and Safety

Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA) and Scottish Environment

Protection Agency (SEPA) earlier this year. The CA will report their

findings later this year. These may well include the need for industry to

take further measures.

The Task Group recommends and the CA requires sites that have bulk tanks

storing petroleum that could be overfilled leading to a significant vapour

cloud to take immediate action. These sites will now have to implement the

recommendations by the deadlines set out in the report. Industry

representatives have agreed to complete them and the CA will be monitoring

industry progress closely to ensure the enhanced safety standards are

introduced on time.

Under the CA's direction, the Task Group set out to undertake a

comprehensive and thorough review of facilities like Buncefield to ensure

they operate correctly. The actions detailed above are the first results of

this work. The Task Group will make final recommendations to industry aimed

at enhancing safety and environmental standards by July 2007.

The CA acknowledges the commitment industry members of the Task Group have

shown. It is important that these changes to further improve safety are

implemented by the deadlines stated.