Oil Storage Regulations
The Oil Storage Regulations apply to all new installations in the UK (both domestic and commercial). Oil is the commonest pollutant in the UK, accounting for one quarter of all incidents. These guidelines are intended to help reduce pollution caused by inadequate storage of oil in above ground oil storage tank installations.
Dependent upon your location, you will most likely be covered by either the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage)(England) Regulations 2001 or the Water Environment (Oil Storage)(Scotland) Regulations 2006. Wales and Northern Ireland are exempt but other legislation may apply (additional information below).
Your environmental regulator can serve on you an 'anti pollution works notice' if your site gives rise to, or is at risk of giving rise to, pollution of surface waters or groundwater. This notice will require you to undertake remedial action.
Many drains lead directly to rivers, streams or lakes. If you allow oil to enter these drains, it has the same effect as pouring it directly into the watercourse.
Oil is poisonous to fish and other wildlife and it smothers plants. Just two litres of oil could seriously pollute the volume of fresh water needed to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool and make it undrinkable.
You may be prosecuted and fined if oil from your site enters the ground or watercourses. And you may have to pay substantial clean-up costs. The Oil Storage Regulations are designed to prevent oil spills.
Does your installation require bunding?
Is Secondary Containment of Oil a Legal Requirement?
Oil storage Regulations Definition: Secondary Containment, also often refered to as a bunded fuel storage tank, under the Oil Storage Regulations, an oil storage tank which qualifies should be contained within a secondary containment system totalling no less than 110% of the storage tanks full capacity, a bunded oil tank.
There is a lot of uncertainty as to whether you should ‘bund’ a storage tank or not, the new oil storage regulations stipulate that if you are either an institute (school) a commercial or an industrial site you should bund almost any oil or fuel storage tank exceeding 200 litres capacity.
You should always seek additional guidance from the environment agency if you propose to install bunded tanks in any location which is within 10 metres of inland coastal waters or 50m of a well or borehole.
Various installations (including domestic oil tanks) require other circumstances to be considered, the chart below considers all eventualities and provides links to relevant web pages where more detailed information can be found.