Oil spills account for one quarter of all pollution incidents in the UK. 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.

  • NIEA Helpline 0845 302 0008
  • SEPA Helpline 0300 099 6699
  • NIEA and SEPA Pollution Hotline 0800 80 70 60