Natural Resources Wales have announced a new set of regulations relating to the storage of oil at commercial premises in Wales. The Oil Storage Regulations 2016 will be coming into force in March 2020 and mean that all above ground oil storage tanks in excess of 200 litres must have a secondary containment system to prevent oil from escaping into the environment in the event of a leak or spillage. These new rules were brought into force to help minimise the risk of environmental harm when storing oil and other fuel on commercial premises.
What do the rules mean?
The new regulations apply to any commercial premises in Wales that stores more than 200 litres of oil in an above-ground storage tank. Qualifying business must now provide more secure containment facilities to help prevent oil from escaping and causing damage to the surrounding environment. To meet the requirements, oil must be stored in a fully bunded storage tank with a minimum of 110% secondary containment. Any business that fails to make the required changes to their oil storage system by the deadline risks fines of up to £5,000 for non-compliance.
When do the rules apply?
The new regulations will come into force in three stages. These are:
- Any tanks installed after the regulations came into force on 15 March 2016 will have to comply with the new rules from the date they are installed.
- Existing tanks at significant risk (i.e. storage tanks that are located within 10 metres of any surface water or wetland), will have to comply within 2 years - i.e. by 15 March 2018.
- Existing tanks not considered to be at significant risk will have to comply within 4 years (i.e. by 15 March 2020).
What is a bunded oil tank?
A bunded oil tank offers a higher level of security and safety due to its unique design. Unlike ‘single-skinned’ storage tanks, bunded tanks contain a secondary containment tank or ‘outer skin’ that can hold a minimum of 110% of the capacity of the inner tank. This provides an extra level of protection against leaks or spills and prevents oil from escaping into the environment. If a leak or spill occurs then any oil will be safely contained within the outer tank, thus preventing environmental damage. An oil leak can cause serious pollution and damage to surrounding land and property. Bunded oil tanks offer a higher level of safety and ensure that you oil storage complies with all current legislation. The quality design of a bunded oil tank also provides extra protection against vandalism or fuel theft by making your oil harder to access. This can save businesses significant amounts of money in the long run, as replacing lost or stolen fuel can be extremely expensive. Another key benefit of bunded oil tanks is that they offer several additional safety features to keep your oil safe. This includes:
- Tank gauge - This allows you to see how much fuel is left in the tank and know when a refuel is needed.
- Secure fuel inspection hatch - This allows you to access the fuel tank to carry out necessary maintenance with ease.
- Warning system - This will alert you of any sudden drop in fuel level which may be due to things like fuel theft or a leak.
- Overfill protection device - This will prevent you from overfilling your tank, which could be extremely costly and damaging to the environment.
How do I install a bunded oil tank?
Oil tank installations should always be carried out by a fully qualified tank installation professional and must comply with local Building Regulations. Oil tanks contain large volumes of valuable fuel and can cause serious pollution and environmental damage if installed incorrectly. It is therefore vital that you have your tank installed by a professional who has received sufficient training - you should never try to install a storage tank yourself.
Upgrade to a bunded tank today!
Don’t wait until the last minute to make the necessary improvements to your oil storage system. Upgrading to a bunded tank will ensure that you are prepared for the new regulations and complying with all current legislation. This means you don’t have to worry about hefty fines or non-compliance orders. Upgrading to a bunded tank means you are storing your fuel in the most responsible way possible and will also ensure that your oil is secure and safe from vandalism and theft. If you would like to discuss upgrading to a full bunded storage tank, then get in touch with our team of experts today.