New Oil Storage Regulations

Pollution from oil spills in England is significant with 16% of all incidents of pollution and 12% of the most serious incidents (category 1 and 2) being attributed to poor handling and storage of oil.

The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 apply where oil is stored in containers of more than 200 litres and above the ground at commercial, industrial or institutional sites. The regulations apply, for example, to factories, stores, offices, hotels, schools, public buildings and hospitals. Eventually the regulations will cover all existing oil stores, but the storage of oil in "high risk areas" (defined as within less than 10m of a watercourse and 50 metres of a well or bore) must conform by September 1, 2003.

All types of oil, with the exeption of waste mineral oil, are subject to the regulations. This includes petrol, diesel, vegetable, synthetic and mineral oils.

Failure to conform is a criminal offence, which can lead to a fine of up to £20,000.

Source: The Environment Agency

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