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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.

Those businesses that fail 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 per cent secondary containment by April 2020.

Western Telegraph:

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.

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 hefty fines.

Tim Lock, technical director of OFTEC, said: “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.”

A 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.

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.”

Western Telegraph:

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, in turn, 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.

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.”

To register for a free site assessment in advance of the March 2020 deadline for compliance, Welsh businesses should go to: harlequinplastics.co.uk

or telephone 028 9261 0143.

To find your nearest OFTEC registered technician in Wales, visit: oftec.org.uk