Oil can cause excessive damage to the environment if it escapes, which is why in England there are regulations governing oil storage, the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) regulations. These regulations apply to storage tanks of over 200 litres within industrial, commercial and institutional sites (and over 3500 litres in private dwellings). They cover the following main areas:
- Tank and ancillary equipment;
- Underground pipes; and
The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations also cover damage caused to water, land and biodiversity. These regulations apply if an incident has caused significant damage to the environment, or if there is an imminent threat of damage. The business or operator will be responsible for remediation of the damage caused. Prison sentences of up to 2 years and personal fines may also be applied.
These regulations are based on the polluter pays principle and the business or operator will be responsible for restoring the environment back to its original state before the incident. This may affect your insurance liabilities and businesses are being encouraged to increase insurance cover or have an alternative financial plan to cover for potential incidents. The remediation work required will be decided upon by either the Environment Agency (damage to water), Natural England (damage to biodiversity), local authorities (damage to land) or the Marine and Fisheries Agency (damage to biodiversity at sea).
An Assurity Consulting oil storage management review provides and independent perspective on the current levels of management and control you have in place for oil storage at your premises. Through a site inspection and documentation review we will identify what you have in place, including
- Risk assessments;
- Site specific operating procedures;
- Emergency procedures; and
- Training (especially with regards to spill response action).