Free advice for Welsh businesses in preparation for March 2020 deadline

New regulations from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), due to come into force in March 2020, will mean that all above ground tanks in excess of 200 litres, used to store oil at commercial premises in Wales, are required to have a secondary containment system to prevent oil escaping to the environment in the event of a spillage.

Laurance Coey, Harlequin and David Blevings, OFTEC
Encouraging responsible ownership and storage of oil in advance of changes to regulations in Wales through a free site assessment and oil tank advice, are Laurance Coey, Harlequin and David Blevings, OFTEC

Those businesses that fail to make the required changes to their oil storage system risk fines of up to £5,000 for non-compliance.

“By ensuring appropriate secondary containment, we can reduce the number of oil related pollution incidents in Wales,” said Rob Thomas, senior environment officer for NRW.
 “Pollution from oil spillages can be very damaging to the environment, businesses and wildlife that depends on it and can be very costly to rectify.”

OFTEC has teamed up with member company Harlequin, a supplier of bunded oil tanks, to offer free advice to businesses on how to get ready in advance of the new regulations coming into force next year.

The campaign is reminding Welsh businesses of all sizes that the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage, Wales) Regulations 2016 require any above ground oil tank over 200 litres to be provided with 110% secondary containment by April 2020.
Also known as the Oil Storage Regulations or OSR Wales, it requires all commercial premises in Wales which store more than 200 litres of oil, to provide more secure containment facilities for above ground oil storage.

The organisations are concerned that many businesses are unaware of the regulatory requirements and associated fines. Striving to educate and protect business owners from the surprise of any hefty fines, the campaign is advising businesses that oil tanks are better off bunded, with Harlequin teaming up with installers across Wales to offer free site assessment and oil tank advice.

“The regulations apply to containers at offices, shops and industrial premises but also to businesses, churches and commercial workshops,” explained Laurance Coey, Harlequin’s managing director who points out that ‘any oil tank over 200 litres must have secondary containment in place such as an integrally bunded storage tank’.

The campaign strives to encourage responsible ownership and storage of oil through simple measures to not only prevent the loss of this valuable resource but also safeguard the environment and minimise the risk of expensive remediation by tank owners.

“Non-compliance could result in a serious pollution incident and a large fine incident; this can be easily avoided with our free site assessments available across Wales,” added Laurance.

For details of free site assessments

“We are keen to ensure that commercial operators are aware of the March 2020 deadline’, commented OFTEC technical director, Tim Lock.

“Owners of single skin oil storage tanks are urged 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 unsure as to whether their existing oil storage is sufficient.  The key goal is to ensure the protection of the Welsh rural surface and groundwater against pollution.

For OFTEC registered technicians in Wales