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November 17, 2008

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Buncefield lessons are being acted upon, says minister

The HSE, industry, and other relevant parties have responded promptly to the recommendations made by the Major Incident Investigation Board (MIIB), which was set up in the wake of the Buncefield explosion in December 2005, the Government has claimed.

Speaking on 13 November in the House of Lords, Safety minister Lord McKenzie reported that the various stakeholders had made good progress in response to the Board’s proposals. Said the minister: “They have set in train a programme of work, which will ensure real improvements in the prevention of major incidents and, should major incidents occur, that effective plans are in place to respond and recover in the best way possible.”

Since the incident, the Board has outlined a series of recommendations, contained within four major reports, and the Government has now responded to two of these, concerning the ‘Design and operation of fuel storage sites’, and ‘Emergency preparedness for, response to, and recovery from, incidents’.

The Communities and Local Government department intends to commission a study to set out and explain the operation of the legislation controlling the planning and application and hazardous-substances consent processes, and to consider the scope for rationalisation and possible integration of these regimes.

The study will also investigate the extent to which local planning authorities with active consents have relevant policies in their development plans.”

The Government response is published as Command Paper CM.7491 on the DWP website, and can be viewed by clicking here

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