Guidance for Design, Construction, Modification, Maintenance and Decommissioning of Filling Stations

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The fourth edition of Design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of filling stations (also known as the Blue Book) is essential reading for all those involved in the design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of facilities for the storage and dispensing of vehicle fuels at either retail or commercial premises, as well as those involved in the enforcement of regulations applicable to such sites.


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The Blue Book is the established technical guidance on providing information about storage and dispensing of petroleum products used as fuels for motor vehicles (including petrol, diesel and autogas (also known as LPG). It provides information on civil, mechanical, hydraulic and electrical installation issues for the planning, design, construction, commissioning, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of filling stations, together with information aimed to minimise the risks from fire and explosion, to health and to the environment.

This new edition of the publication is produced jointly by the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA) and the Service station panel of the Energy Institute (EI). Considerable technical input has also been provided by UK competent authorities (the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency), trade associations and professional organisations. Key technical changes in the new edition of 319 pages include:

  • Updates to sections covering above-ground and below-ground storage tanks to reflect industry good practise including the need to test tank chambers on site
  • Changes to the recommendation of hazardous areas on filling stations which covers longer hoses used in the industry and also covering mobile payment options
  • The special safety requirements for pressure pumping systems
  • Incorporation of guidance covering fuels containing bio-components up to the allowable amounts identified in EN 228 and EN 590 (technical information is provided for fuels containing higher amounts of bio-component).
  • Development of guidance on engineered control measures for attended self-service (ASS) and unattended self-service (USS) sites. This technical guidance is in alignment with the operational guidance contained in the publication Petrol filling stations guidance on managing the risks of fire and explosion (the Red guide) produced by the Petroleum Enforcement Liaison Group
  • Updates to sections on vapour recovery to reflect changes in UK legislation and the uptake of stage 2 vapour recovery.
  • Updates to sections on leak detection and changes that reflect the environmental concerns for Class 11 systems
  • The importance of maintaining leak detection systems to ensure safe storage
  • Guidance in the Electrical section on the installation and safe operation of electric vehicle charging points on filling stations
  • Updates to sections on LPG to ensure alignment with UKLPG Codes of practice.
  • Updates of the Annex providing technical information on the storage and handling of AUS 32.

This Fourth edition replaces the edition published in 2011.

Although the book makes frequent reference to legislation applicable in the UK, it is anticipated that the general principles will be applicable in most regions internationally, and this Guidance is used extensively by many countries around the world.

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