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Water pollution prevention - Oil storage standards

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Regulations which set standards for the storage of oil in Wales came in to force 15 March 2016.

Following a consultation in 2015, the regulations (external link) set standards for oil storage facilities which aim to prevent the escape of oil and the resulting risk of water pollution and damage to land and property.

The main requirement is for secondary containment, for example a bund or wall around the tank, to prevent any leaks from an oil storage facility escaping into the wider environment. These requirements apply to all oil storage facilities installed from 15 March 2016.

Domestic oil storage facilities in use on or before 15 March will remain exempt until replaced. Facilities serving non-domestic properties will need to comply between two and four years later, depending on the risk they pose to the environment.

The Regulations include agricultural fuel oil storage facilities, which had been covered by the Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil Regulations 2010. This ensures a common standard applies to all oil storage in Wales, but removes an existing exemption for such facilities where they were in use before 1991.

We have published guidance on these Regulations to assist in their implementation. Natural Resources Wales have published “Frequently Asked Questions” (external link) providing additional advice.

Further practical information for owners of oil storage tanks is available from the Oil Care Campaign (external link).  

Similar regulations already apply in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

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