Get Ready for New Environmental Regulations

OFTEC Urges Heating Businesses to Protect Themselves Against Liability
OFTEC technical manager, Matthew Northcott

New regulations from Natural Resources Wales are due to come into force in March 2020, resulting in all above ground tanks in excess of 200 litres storing oil at commercial premises in Wales being required to have a secondary containment system to prevent oil escaping to the environment in the event of a spillage.

Any business that fails to make the required changes to their oil storage system risk fines of up to £5,000 for non-compliance.The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), which represents the domestic and light commercial oil heating sector in the UK, has teamed up with member company Harlequin, that supplies 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. OSR Wales also 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. To aid the prevention of oil from escaping into the environment.

The organisations are concerned that many are unaware of the regulatory requirements and associated fines with the campaign striving to educate and protect business owners from the surprise of any large fines. They are advising businesses that their oil tanks are better off bunded. A bunded tank has a secondary layer to help capture oil in the event of a spillage.

Leading bunded oil tank manufacturer, Harlequin, has teamed up with installers across Wales to offer a free site assessment and advice on oil tank awareness for businesses owners. The campaign strives to encourage responsible ownership and storage of oil by outlining simple measures to prevent loss of this valuable resource from storage tanks which will, therefore, help safeguard the environment and minimise the risk of expensive remediation by the tank owners.

The legislation provides guidance on who must comply, how to comply, maintenance requirements and setting out some simple steps to ensure oil is stored safely, reducing the risk of pollution and offering better protection for the environment.

The Harlequin campaign also aims to help business owners avoid potentially significant clean-up costs, which can often be excluded from insurance policies.

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