Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If you store chemicals in tanks, mobile bowsers, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) or drums, you must take precautions to avoid causing pollution.
You must store any hazardous chemical in a suitable container that is:
You can check the chemical's safety data sheet(SDS) to see if it is hazardous. The SDS contains information about the chemical, including details of how to store, use and dispose of it safely. See the page in this guideline: Chemical labelling and information.
Separate all incompatible chemicals. If you store incompatible chemicals together and there is a leak or spill, it could cause a violent reaction. A chemical's SDS will tell you which chemicals it is incompatible with.
To prevent accidents, you should store flammable chemicals in a fire-proof steel cabinet or drum store. If you store large quantities of flammables, you may need to keep them in a designated room.
If you store any kind of oil on your premises, you may need to comply with Regulations for Oil Storage. Even if the regulations do not apply, you should consider meeting the requirements to help prevent water pollution and avoid prosecution. See our guideline: Storing oil.
The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations may affect your business if you:
For more information, see our guideline: Control of major accident hazards (COMAH).
Store all chemicals in an area where you can contain spills. See the page in this guideline: Secondary containment systems for bulk chemical stores
Below-ground tanks and pipework are difficult to inspect and leaks may not be immediately obvious. To prevent leaks, you should:
You are responsible for all chemicals and oil on your site. You can be prosecuted for a pollution incident that starts on your site even if it was caused by vandals.
If you store chemicals outside you should use lockable storage units and keep chemicals locked away when they are not in use.
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