Fuel and Oil Storage Regulations apply to all new installations in the UK (both domestic and commercial) of Fuel and Oil storage tanks. Oil is one of the leading contaminants in the UK, accounting for twenty five percent of all incidents. Guidelines are in place intended to help reduce ground contamination and pollution caused by incorrect storage of oil in above ground oil storage tanks.
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 controller or regulator can serve on you an ‘anti pollution works notice’ if your oil storage tanks 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 your oil storage tanks allow oil to enter these drains, it has the same effect as pouring it directly into the river.
Oil is toxic to fish and other wildlife and it smothers plants. Just two litres of oil could easily pollute the volume of fresh water needed to fill a full sized swimming pool and make it unusable.
You can be prosecuted and fined if oil from your site enters the ground or watercourses and you have failed to follow protocols. You could also be liable to pay substantial clean-up costs. The Oil Storage Regulations are in place to prevent contamination of ground and water via oil spills.
Does your installation require a Bunded Tank?
Is Secondary Containment Bunded tank (bund wall) a Legal Requirement?
Oil/fuel storage Regulations Definition: Secondary Containment, also often referred to as a bund wall or bunded 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 wall’ 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. This means Bunded Fuel Tanks are a legal requirement.
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.