The Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006Introduction
The Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 came into force on 1 April 2006. The regulations apply to both new and existing oil storage tanks.
Please note: These regulations now control the storage of agricultural fuel oil, previously regulated by the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (Scotland) Regulations 2003. The relevant provisions of Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 (as amended) will also apply to handling and storage of waste oil.Do the regulations apply to me?
You will be regulated if you store any of the following kinds of oil:
- Mineral oil
- Heating oil
- Lubricating oil
- Waste oil
- Vegetable and plant oil
The regulations apply to any kind of container which is used and stored on premises above ground, whether inside or outside a building. This includes fixed tanks, intermediate bulk containers, drums (oil drums or similar containers used for storing oil) or mobile bowsers.
The range of premises covered by the regulations includes:
- Industrial businesses: small manufacturing premises such as food processing, textiles, paper and publishing, engineering, bricks and ceramics, metals, chemicals;
- Commercial businesses: shops, offices, theatres, hotels, restaurants, pubs, building and construction sites, motor garages, transport depots, bus stations;
- Institutions (residential and non-residential): in the public and private sector, charities and voluntary groups. These include schools, hospitals, churches, prisons, libraries, public sector buildings, nursing homes, and occupiers of multi-residential dwellings (whether privately or publicly owned), blocks of flats or other dwellings where oil is supplied from communal storage facilities;
- Farms: any oil used on the farm, but not oil intended for use exclusively as a fuel for heating a farmhouse or other residential premises on a farm (see exemptions).
The following are exempt from regulation:
- Uncut bitumen. (This is specifically excluded from the regulations as it was considered that the material would solidify in the vicinity of any spillage.);
- Storage of oil in vehicles;
- The storage of oil on premises used wholly or mainly as a single private dwelling, with an oil storage capacity of less than 2,500 litres. [New or altered tanks should comply with applicable Regulations under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003.];
- The storage of oil in any container situated wholly underground (unless situated within a building underground);
- Premises used for the onward distribution of oil to other places, like oil distribution depots for example. This includes sites where operations such as blending and filling are carried out, but does not include fuel installations for transport companies;
- Where oil is stored in accordance with:
- an authorisation under Part 1 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in respect of a Part A process falling within the description set out in Schedule 1 to the Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1991;
- a permit under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 in respect of a Part A activity as defined in Schedule 1 to those regulations.
Please note: Bitumen based products, such as bitumen emulsion, which are liquid at normal ambient temperatures, should be stored in accordance with the regulations.Key requirements of the regulations
The regulations set design standards for new and existing above-ground oil storage facilities:
- Where oil is stored in any portable container with a storage capacity of less than 200 litres, the container must be of sufficient strength and structural integrity to ensure that it is unlikely to burst or leak in its ordinary use.
- Where the container has a storage capacity of 200 litres or more, the regulations require provision of a secondary containment (a bund or drip-tray) to ensure that any leaking or spilt oil cannot enter the water environment.
The main controls for the storage of oil are outlined below:
Other useful links and information
- The container must be strong enough to hold the oil without leaking or bursting.
- The container must be positioned to avoid damage (for example, as the result of impact
from any vehicular traffic), as far as is reasonably practicable.
- A secondary containment system (bund or drip tray) must be provided to catch any oil leaking from the container or its ancillary pipe work and equipment.
- The container must be situated within a secondary containment system (e.g. bund, drip tray) of sufficient capacity to contain at least 110% of the maximum contents of the container. Where more than one container is stored, the bund should be capable of storing at least 110% of the largest tank or 25% of the total storage capacity, whichever is the greater (in the case of drums the tray/bund size should be at least 25% of total storage capacity).
- Oil stored in mobile bowsers is also required to be bunded.
- The bund base and walls must be impermeable to water and oil and checked regularly for leaks.
- Any valve, filter, sight gauge, vent pipe or other ancillary equipment must be kept within the bund when not in use.
- Above-ground pipe work must be properly supported.
- Below-ground pipe work must be protected from physical damage (e.g. excessive surface loading, ground movement or disturbance) and have adequate leakage detection. If mechanical joints have to be used, they should be readily accessible for inspection.