The explosions at Buncefield Oil Storage Depot on 11 December 2005 resulted in injuries to more than 40 people and significant damage to the surrounding area and the environment. This publication is a response by the DWP and the Competent Authority (the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency) to the first two reports from the Buncefield Major Incident Investigation Board (MIIB) on (1) the design and operation of fuel storage sites and (2) emergency preparedness for, response to and recovery from major incidents, which may be viewed at http://www.buncefieldinvestigation.gov.uk/index.htm. Overall, good progress has been made against the Board’s recommendations both at fuel storage sites as well as other Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) sites. Some of the recommendations set a higher standard than is generally in place in the sector, and their introduction needs to be planned and phased in with care, not least to avoid compromising the resilience of the UK’s fuel supply. On the second report, a programme of action has been devised and positive work at local level has enhanced the resilience and effectiveness of emergency response. This response outlines progress against recommendations in each report.
This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.