New Oil Storage Regulations in Wales for Heating Engineers

New Oil Storage Regulations in Wales for Heating Engineers

5th Jul 2019

Oil heating engineers need to prepare for changes to environmental regulations in Wales.

New environmental regulations from Natural Resources Wales will put heating engineers working with oil at risk of a £5,000 fine if they do not comply.

The regulations are due to come into effect in March 2020 and will stipulate that above ground oil storage tanks (in excess of 200-litre capacity) on commercial premises will need to have a secondary containment unit. The new requirement is intended to prevent oil spillages escaping into the environment. Businesses which fail to meet the new standards could face fines of up to £5,000.

In line with the Oil Storage Regulations (OSR Wales), any above ground oil tank over 200 litres has to have 110% secondary containment by April 2020. It aims to promote responsible management of oil storage to reduce the potential for negative effects on the environment and to prevent businesses receiving hefty fines.

OFTEC (the Oil Firing Technical Association) is working with Harlequin, a supplier of bunded oil tanks, to advise businesses and installers about how they can prepare for the new regulations. This includes free site assessments and advice on oil tank awareness for businesses owners. The legislation outlines who must comply, how to comply, maintenance requirements and sets out simple steps to ensure oil is stored safely.

Tim Lock, Technical Director of OFTEC commented: “We recognise that the average business owner or managing director is an incredibly busy person so the campaign is designed to make them aware of the new regulations and guide them on the simple steps to ensure their storage meets the requirements and stops them falling foul of the law.”

Laurance Coey, Managing Director of Harlequin, said: “The Regulations apply to containers at offices, shops and industrial premises but also to businesses, churches and commercial workshops. It requires that all commercial properties must have any oil tank over 200 litres to have secondary containment in place such as an integrally bunded storage tank. If businesses don’t comply they could face a large fine or a serious pollution incident; this can be easily avoided with our free site assessments available across Wales.”

Tim Lock, Technical Director of OFTEC, added: “We are keen to ensure that commercial operators are aware of the March 2020 deadline relating to secondary containment (or bunding) of commercial oil tanks. If you own a single skin oil storage tank, we urge you to act now to avoid the enforcement penalties that could include a fine of up to £5,000. An OFTEC registered technician can assess and provide advice to any commercial company storing oil and unsure of whether their existing oil storage is sufficient. The key goal is to ensure the protection of the Welsh rural surface and groundwater against pollution which can be significant and expensive to remedy.”

Rob Thomas, Senior Environment Officer for NRW, said: “Pollution from oil spillages can be very damaging to the environment, the businesses and wildlife that depends on it and can be very costly to rectify. By ensuring appropriate secondary containment and the extra security it offers, we can reduce the number of oil related pollution incidents in Wales, helping businesses and the environment by managing resources sustainably.”