== What is Stage II Vapour Recovery? ==

Stage II Vapour Recovery legislation came into force in the UK on October 1 2006, and means that those existing sites dispensing more than 3.5 million litres of petrol a year will need to fit specialist equipment to capture fumes at the pump by January 1, 2010. All new sites with a throughput greater than 500K will also be required to install Stage II controls.

== Do I need to do anything now? ==

Yes. Although the latest date for implementation completion is three years off, the industry has only a limited number of competent personnel to carry out all the required work. A recent estimate concluded that 30 sites per week need to be upgraded or retrofitted to meet the January 1, 2010 deadline, assuming a start date of January 2007, so my advice is start early.

== Where do I start? ==

It is important to begin with a comprehensive site survey. This should cover all the variable factors, including any underground installations, and provide important information such as the age and condition of the pumps. Companies like Gilbarco Veeder-Root are qualified to do such surveys. You can then speak to equipment suppliers and contractors and ask them to work out the most cost-effective solution for your site or sites.

== How do I decide whether to replace my existing dispensers or retrofit them with Stage II? ==

The current age of the dispensers, the existing pipework layout and service maintenance costs over the next few years are all factors to be considered. Retrofitting Stage II on an ageing install base of dispensers means less immediate outlay but greater total cost of ownership long-term.

== How much will it cost to fit Vapour Recovery onto my dispensers? ==

This will vary depending on the model of dispenser and whether the dispenser is being retrofitted or built new in the factory. Current models such as the SK700 dispensers are already available with factory-fitted Stage II VR and can be found in the GVR SK700 price list.

== Are there any Weights & Measures implications during installation? ==

Yes, the dispenser modification must comply with an issued Weights & Measures certificate and local trading standards must be advised of the modification. It will then need to be inspected by them. Alternatively, Gilbarco Veeder-Root dispensers can be self-verified by our engineers.

== What are the responsibilities of site managers should they choose not to take up the automatic monitoring options? ==

Site managers must undertake weekly checks to ensure the VR system is working. These checks must be recorded in a site log to show that they have been carried out. Any calls made to the service company must also be recorded in the log. In addition, the VR enforcement body will be required to carry out an annual inspection. Purchasing the automatic monitoring option enables site managers to avoid the inconvenience of these manual checks and annual inspections.

== What safety implications are there for retrofits? ==

There are two primary considerations. Firstly, it is important to confirm that the equipment being installed is approved for use in potentially explosive atmospheres by a Notified Body, and to remember that under the ATEX directive any substantial modification to previously certified equipment needs to meet ATEX requirements, even if the original certification pre-dates ATEX. Secondly, under DSEAR regulations, the persons carrying out the modification must be competent and this requirement is typically satisfied by having a valid UKPIA PassPort to Work plus full product training on the equipment being modified and installed. I would also encourage all contractors to read the FEF Code of Practice which highlights a number of potential hazards.