Guide

Storing oil

Introduction

Oil spills account for about one quarter of all pollution incidents in Northern Ireland. Leaks from oil containers are often caused by inadequate storage facilities and equipment, and poor maintenance and operation.

Oil includes petrol, diesel, central-heating oil, mineral and synthetic oils, vegetable and plant oils, heavy oils such as liquid bitumen, oil-based solvents such as kerosene, and waste oil.

If oil from your site enters the ground, surface water or groundwater you could be prosecuted for causing pollution and have to pay a fine. You could also have to pay substantial clean up costs.

This guide covers the legal requirements and sets out good practice for businesses that store oil. It explains how to store oil to reduce the risk of pollution, gives information on maintaining your oil containers and explains what to do if an oil spill occurs.