There are between 130 and 300 incidents of water pollution every year in Wales due to oil contamination, most of these cases are down to poor storage.
Identified as one of the most significant pollutants of water, oil and it’s storage methods were the topic of a consultation back in 2015, the result of which are the new regulations that have come into place on the 15th March with the aim of preventing the annual number of pollution related incidents.
Water bodies are required, under the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) to achieve a good ecological status by 2027, fuelling the need to tackle storage issue with oil to prevent it escaping into our waters and running the risk of damaging land and properties.
The new Regulations will apply to any type of oil and includes petrol, diesel, kerosene, lubricating oils, waste oil, vegetable oil and plant oil. These new Regulations also now include Agricultural Fuel Oil storage, previously covered by the Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil Regulations 2010, meaning there is now a standard applied to all oil storage in Wales.
The standards will apply to all new oil storage facilities from 15th March 2016. Existing storage facilities for non-domestic use will need to meet these Regulations between the next 2 to 4 years. Domestic storage that were in place before these new Regulations are exempt until they need to be replaced.
For further guidance on the Regulations regarding types of oil included, types of oil storage containers and facilities, and exemptions see this document provided on the Welsh Government’s website: http://gov.wales/docs/desh/publications/160315-keeping-your-oil-storage-safe-en.pdf