Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If you store oil that is not used for agricultural purposes, for example to supply fuel for a haulage business or for industrial or commercial businesses, then you will need to comply with the Oil Storage Regulations.
If you store oil for agricultural use on a farm your storage facilities must comply with certain regulations if you store more than 1,250 litres of fuel oil and the storage tank was constructed on or after 1 December 2003.
Older storage facilities are normally exempt from the regulations. However, you may have to carry out improvement work if your environmental regulator considers that your facilities could cause pollution.
You must notify the NIEA in writing at least 28 days before you use new or substantially reconstructed or enlarged fuel storage areas.
You must construct all storage installations to last for at least 20 years with proper maintenance.
The entire installation must be at least 10 metres from any waterway.
The fuel oil storage area must be surrounded by a bund. The bund and the base of the storage area must be impermeable.
If you have only one oil storage container in a bund, the bund must be able to hold 110% of its volume.
If you have more than one container in a bund, the bund must be able to hold whichever of the following is greater:
The bund walls must be so that they contain any fuel that may jet from the side of a tank.
Locate taps and valves within the bund and design them to discharge downwards to make sure any leaks do not jet over the side of the bund. When not in use, switch off and lock shut all taps and valves.
Fit a nozzle with an automatic shut-off device to any flexible discharge pipe that is permanently attached to a fuel tank. Lock the pipe within the bund when it is not in use.
You must comply with the Regulations for Oil Storage for any oil that you store, including agricultural fuel oil. The storage of less than 2,500 litres of oil intended for use exclusively as a fuel for heating a farmhouse or other residential premises on a farm is exempted from these regulations.
The main requirements for the storage of oil are:
If you carry out fuelling activities that could cause water pollution, for example if your activities are close to a watercourse, you must comply with certain General Binding Rules (GBR10 and GBR11). You can find more information about these in SEPA’s CAR Practical guide.
SEPA: The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (as amended) (CAR) - A Practical Guide (Adobe PDF - 540KB)
In Northern Ireland, see section 9 of the DARD code of good practice for water, air and soil.
DAERA: Code of good agricultural practice for the prevention of pollution of water, air and soil
Scotland and Northern Ireland
See good practice guidance on oil storage and use in the Guidance for Pollution Prevention GPP 2 (‘Above ground oil storage tanks’), and 7 (‘Refuelling facilities’)
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects
View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.
Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland