Damaging pollution from petrol fumes, which once leaked into the atmosphere whenever car tanks were topped up, will be captured at petrol stations and recycled as fuel under new UK air quality rules.

<p>Under the Petrol Vapour Recovery stage II controls (PVRII), every petrol station selling over 3.5 million liters of petrol a year has until January 1, 2010 to fit equipment to capture the fumes. This threshold has been set high enough to ensure that smaller service stations, particularly those in rural areas, will not face disproportionate costs that could affect their viability, the UK&#0039;s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs claims. <br /><br />The technology will recover around 85% of the petrol fumes that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere – around 16,000 tonnes per year in total. <br /><br />The impact of the costs involved has been considered carefully. We want a common sense balance between the likely benefits for air quality and protecting the viability of businesses. That&#0039;s why we are confining the measure to larger service stations, noted Ben Bradshaw, UK minister for air quality. Many smaller rural service stations have a vital role in providing other services to communities, and we have set the threshold for fitting the equipment to ensure they are protected.</p>