§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many liquid petroleum gas storage sites, containing 15 tons or more, there are in (a) England and (b) Wales; and what percentage of them, in each case, is sited in urban areas;
(2) whether there has been a reduction from 100 tons to 15 tons in the definition of liquid petroleum gas storage sites regarded as major hazard sites; and if he will give the date of the change.
§ Mr. John Grant
I understand from the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that there has been no change in the quantity of liquefied petroleum gas currently specified in guidance to planning authorities as the criteria for identifying major hazard sites. Information about the number of LPG sites containing 15 tons or more is not, therefore, readily available centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost of administrative and inspectoral resources.
The Health and Safety Commission has recently published a consultative document containing its proposals for hazardous installations (notification and survey) regulations. Such regulations 293W would make the kind of information sought more readily available in future.
§ Sir Bernard Braine
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he proposes, in the interests of public safety, to end the anomaly whereby the storage of liquefied petroleum gas is in the majority of cases free from licensing control whereas that of liquefied natural gas is controlled.
§ Mr. John Grant
I am informed by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that although, in contrast to liquefied natural gas, the storage of liquefied petroleum gas is not subject to the licensing controls of the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928, there are, in premises subject to the Factories Act 1961, requirements for the siting, storage and marking of containers for such gases under regulation 7 of the Highly Flammable Liquids and Liquefied Petroleum Gases Regulations 1972. In addition, the Health and Safety Commission has agreed to a review and updating of the legislation governing highly flammable liquids and gases. Preliminary work has already commenced on the preparation of a code of regulations for fuel gases which will include controls on the storage of both liquefied petroleum gas and liquid natural gas. A consultative document setting out proposals for the regulations is to be published.