Current Oil Storage Regulations
Non-compliance with oil storage regulations means prosecution and a hefty fine.
For businesses, organisations and individuals storing oil on their premises, whether for use as fleet fuel or to heat and run premises, compliance with government regulations is vital to ensuring not only safety to people and the environment but also that they’re not fined or prosecuted.
When oil leaks or spills occur, they are extremely hazardous to the surrounding environment, posing immediate risks to people in the area as well as wildlife and vegetation. That’s why oil tanks must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they’re in top condition and in compliance with regulations at all times.
Under the Environment Agency’s oil storage regulations of 2001 (England), storage containers with a capacity of 200 litres or more (at an institute, a commercial or an industrial site) or capacity of 3500 litres or more (at a domestic dwelling), must be stored in a bunded tank, bowser or other container, such as a drum or Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC), with a secondary containment of no less than 110% of the maximum contents. Bear in mind, it is the capacity of the tank, not the quantity of oil that applies.
The following risk assessment must be carried out and, if the tank:
- Has a capacity of greater than 3500 litres.
- Is sited within 10m of a “controlled water” such as a stream, ditch, river, lake, pond, canal or coastal water.
- Is sited where any oil spillage could run into an open drain or loose fitting manhole cover.
- Is sited within 50m of sources of drinking water, such as a well, borehole or spring.
- Is sited over hard ground or hard surfaced ground that could allow spilled oil to enter “controlled water”.
- Is sited where the tank vent pipe outlet cannot be seen from the fill point.
Then, your oil tank needs secondary containment bunded tank or bund built around tank).
Exceptions to these regulations include:
- At premises used mainly as a single private dwelling where less than 3500 litres of oil is stored. However, Building Regulations do apply for new and replacement domestic tanks.
- At premises used for refining or distributing oil;
- For oil stored in a building or entirely underground;
- To the agricultural use of oil on farms for the production of heat and power. The storage of agricultural fuel oil is covered by the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations, 1991;
- To waste mineral oil;
The regulations apply to every type of oil including vegetable oils, bio-fuels, diesel and petrol, except waste oil within the meaning of regulation 1(3) of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.
Oil storage tanks themselves must meet prevailing British and Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) standards, which cover steel and polyethylene tanks. The regulations extend to where tanks are placed on a premises; maintenance of tanks; security; and issues relating to the delivery of oil, such as drip trays and coupling points.
The regulations state that mobile bowsers must be designed so that in the case of an accident, such as a collision, oil will not leak from them. If these containers are being transported on roads, they may come under additional regulations, including the Carriage of Dangerous Goods.
It’s a criminal offence not to comply with the oil storage regulations, with possible prosecution and fines of up to £5,000. It’s therefore in people’s best interests to carefully monitor their oil storage facilities at all times and to carry out regular inspections and work to ensure they’re fully compliant.
Read the relevant regulations in full:
- Control of pollution (oil storage) (England) regulations 2001
- The Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006
- The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010
- There’ll be different regulations in Wales from 2016
UK Bunded Fuel tanks are fully registered members of OFTEC – the Oil Firing Technical Association and are proud to be ISO 9001 certified.
ISO 9001 is a guarantee that we will meet your requirements whilst complying with all relevant regulations.
If you require more information on the latest oil storage regulations give our experts a call on 01282 854445.