Dangerous Substances

Monaghan County Council has a role in relation to the inspection and licensing of retail petroleum stations and bulk petrol distribution stores under the Dangerous Substance Act, 1972 and Dangerous Substances Regulations, 1979.

Secondly it also has a role in relation to the monitoring of volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.’s) emissions at petrol stations under the Air Pollution Act (Petroleum Vapour Emissions) Regulations 1997.

Local Authorities charge a fee for licences under the Dangerous Substances Act.

Please note the definition of the following on application form:

  1. Class I Petrol
  2. Class II Kerosene / Paraffin
  3. Class III Diesel / DERV / Central Home Heating Oil


A licence is only required for Class I Petrol but the quantities of Class II and III must be stated on the application form.

License obligation for Petrol Storage
Monaghan County Council issues licences under the Dangerous Substances (Retail & Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 1979 – 2008. Licensable premises include

  1. Petrol stations that dispense petrol through retail transactions on a forecourt and
  2. Commercial sites that dispense petrol for consumption by employees.

Storage of Petrol (i.e. Class 1 above) above certain thresholds requires a Petroleum Licence to be obtained from the local authority. The thresholds are listed in Section 21 of the Dangerous Substances Act 1972

Details of the documentation that must accompany an application are listed in Section 12 of S.I. 311/1979. An in-date (within the last three years) certificate of testing of electrics in hazardous areas must accompany all licence / licence renewal applications.

Licence applications for underground petrol storage tanks greater than 20 years old, are to include an in date pressure test certificate for such tanks. For tanks between 20 to 30 years old, they must be pressure tested by specialist contractor every two years. For tanks greater than 30 years old, they must be pressure tested by specialist contractor every year.

HSA Petrol Storage Guidance Webpage

License obligation for Bulk Petrol Storage
Monaghan County Council issues licences under the Dangerous Substances (Bulk Petroleum Stores) Regulations, 1979. These typically apply to large and medium sized bulk storage facilities where large quantities of Petroleum Class I are stored, sometimes in conjunction with Petroleum Class II and/or III, for subsequent delivery to retail petrol stations.

Application Forms are available on request from Monaghan Fire Station (contact details can be found here), OR alternatively application forms and further information can be found here.

Petroleum Legislation


S.I. 303/1988; S.I. 424/1999; S.I. 584/2001; S.I. 624/2002
S.I. 860/2004; S.I. 630/2006; S.I. 593/2008; S.I. 628/2010
S.I. 712/2011

Petrol Vapour Recovery Requirements
If you are a Petrol Station owner/operator you are obliged to ensure that your facility is so designed and operated in accordance with the Third Schedule of Air Pollution Act 1987 – Petroleum Vapour Emissions Regulations S.I. 375/1997.
The objective of the regulations is to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere from vehicle re-fuelling activities at service stations, in order to reduce the adverse impact of VOC on human health and the environment.

Petrol contains VOC, carbon-based chemicals that evaporate readily into the atmosphere. Once emitted to air, VOC are associated with several health and environmental problems

  • Formation of ground-level ozone and photochemical smog.
  • Poor local air quality (benzene in air).
  • Atmospheric warming and climate change.

To meet the requirements of the regulations a Service Station owner/operator is obliged to appoint an approved assessor who will carry out tests on their petrol station and submit a report and fee to the County Council. If the County Council is satisfied with the report it will issue a certificate of compliance with the above act. Certificates of compliance last a maximum of three years, and need renewal on expiry.

Petrol Interceptor / Oil Separator
Regulation 15 of the Dangerous Substances (Retail & Private Stores) Regulations 1979-2011 outlines requirements for Petrol Interceptors / Oil Separators.

Historically an interceptor was an interconnected 3-chamber unit.The licensing authority will generally accept designs according to a functional class determined by IS EN 858-2 and performance criteria as determined by IS EN 858-1 as meeting the requirements of Regulation 15(4).

A dedicated interceptor/separator is required to process the run-off from forecourt and/or bulk delivery tanker hard stand area. The chosen separator must have an oil/petroleum retention capacity for the spillage risk in the designated coverage area.

If the interceptor/separator is for use in the forecourt dispensing area only, an oil/petrol retention capacity comparable to the maximum amount of product that is likely to be spilled (usually the maximum that can be dispensed in a single retail transaction) would be sufficient.

If it is designed to cover the dispensing and tanker hard-stand areas, then it must be sized to fully retain the worst case scenario of the catastrophic failure of a petroleum storage compartment (usually in the range 5000 to 7000 litres) on a bulk delivery tanker. The pass-through waste water capacity is based on the peak rainfall falling on the designated surface area.

As one of the intended functions of a petrol separator is to retain a Class I petroleum spillage, it would in such circumstances in fact be a temporary underground petrol storage tank. Therefore, a petrol interceptor must be installed and surrounded with secondary containment (concrete vault/encasement) and be provided with petrol vapour vent management.

Under no circumstances should the waste water from a vehicle wash be directed into a petrol separator. Vehicle wash waste water must be processed separately in keeping with the effluent requirements of the overall site.

As well as meeting the regulatory requirements, a properly sized and maintained interceptor can reduce the risk of subsequent pollution in the event of an incident. In fact a poorly maintained interceptor may be interpreted as providing a risk to the surrounding groundwater and may be the cause of the initiation of legal proceedings under the Water Pollution Act 1997 & 2000 quite separate from any sanctions that may arise from a proven breach of the Dangerous Substances Regulations and deemed to be an offence under the Dangerous Substances Act 1972.

Data Protection

Dangerous Substance Licence