Tamil Nadu

NGT directs oil companies to file status report on Vapour Recovery Systems in fuel outlets

The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed oil companies to file a status report on the implementation of Vapour Recovery System (VRS) in fuel retail outlets in Tamil Nadu. It also ordered notice to the Tamil Nadu government and the Central Pollution Control Board. The bench directed the oil companies to file a report on the volume of daily sales at retail outlets.

The applicant, V. B. R. Menon, an advocate, moved the Tribunal stating that a large number of petroleum retail outlets in the State are situated and operating in close proximity to residential buildings and public places, such as school, playgrounds and parks, thereby endangering public safety, health and security.

He submitted that as per various orders of the Principal Bench of the NGT, CPCB and the Supreme Court, installation of VRS Stage 1 and 2 has become mandatory and binding on the oil companies, subject to the population around the outlets. “Hence, it has become necessary to put on hold any further opening/commissioning of Petroleum Retail Outlets in Tamil Nadu without installing VRS, Stage 1 and 2 and until Vapour Recovery Systems are installed in all the existing Petroleum Retail Outlets within a prescribed time limit,” he said.

Mr. Menon further alleged that oil companies such as IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, Shell India and Nayara Energy Ltd are currently engaged in an expansion spree -- more than doubling their outlets in the State without complying with the orders on the installation of VRS, and sought a stay.

Counsel for the oil companies, Abdul Saleem, objected to this and said that the present application was filed in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court and was dismissed and that an appeal in the Supreme Court too, was dismissed.

The counsel said that as per the directions of the Principal Bench, VRS must be functional by the time the sale of Motor Spirit touches 300 KL (kilo litre) in outlets in cities where the population is more than one lakh and within a period of three months in new retail outlets where the population is more than 10 lakh, and having a sale potential of 100 KL per month. In case of failure to implement this within the prescribed time, environmental compensation can be levied, he submitted.

Following this, the bench issued directions to the oil companies to file a status report.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 9:46:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ngt-directs-oil-companies-to-file-status-report-on-vapour-recovery-systems-in-fuel-outlets/article32274422.ece

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