Welsh businesses urged to get ready ahead of new tank regulations

New regulations from Natural Resources Wales, 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

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

OFTEC 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.

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. This is to prevent oil escaping into the environment.

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.”

Free site assessment
Harlequin has teamed up with installers across Wales to offer a free site assessment and advice on oil tank awareness for businesses owners. Laurance Coey, managing director of Harlequin commented: “The regulations not only apply to containers at offices, shops and industrial premises but also to businesses, churches and commercial workshops. It requires that all commercial properties with an oil tank over 200 litres must have secondary containment in place, such as an integrally bunded storage tank. If businesses don’t comply, they could face a large fine and could potentially cause a serious pollution incident. This can be avoided by taking advantage of one of our free site assessments, available across Wales.”

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

OFTEC’s Tim Lock 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. 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.”

Welsh businesses can register for a free site assessment in advance of the March 2020 deadline by visiting: