HSE's Land Use Planning Guidance Changing After Buncefield

Still taking actions in response to the Dec. 11, 2005 Buncefield oil depot fire, Britain's Health and Safety Executive is taking public comments until May 22 on a document intended to shape its future policy for planning agencies as they consider applications close to large-scale gasoline storage facilities.

The consultation document is online at www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd211.htm. "Land use planning is a matter of importance and public interest, and we are keen to encourage views from the public including those affected by the Buncefield explosion," HSE Deputy Chief Executive Justin McCracken said. "This consultation exercise will enable an open and transparent approach to making policy decisions that reflect the needs, concerns, and aspirations of the people they will affect."

Details of the Major Incident Investigation Board's probe of the Buncefield fire are posted at www.buncefieldinvestigation.gov.uk. The document lists four options for changing HSE's guidance and asks whether its land use planning objectives and principles remain a sound basis for its advice. Options 3 and 4 "represent significant change from our current approach" but differ in how they balance public protection and economic development.

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