Above Ground Oil Storage Tanks (PPG2)

13. Oil spills

An oil spill from your tank is likely to cause pollution; this will damage the environment and your reputation. Keep a spill kit with commercial sorbent products, sand or earth close to your oil storage to deal with spills, and make sure you or your staff know how to use it safely. Our incident response planning guidance PPG21, Reference 23, tells you how to draw up a plan. These guidelines set out best practice for producing an incident response plan to deal with an environmental incident on your site. Following a plan will help prevent or reduce environmental damage if an incident occurs.

If you have a spill, take immediate action to stop the oil getting into any drains or watercourses. If you can, soak up the spilt oil with the contents of your spill kit, without putting yourself in danger. Don’t hose the spillage down or use any detergents to try to get rid of it; you could make the pollution worse. Notify us by calling the Emergency Hotline on 0800 80 70 60. If oil soaks into the ground, the soil soaked in oil should be removed, by a professional company, so it doesn’t cause long term pollution. Store any materials that are soaked in oil in containers that won’t let the oil run away until it can be correctly and legally disposed of. Surface and subsurface soil and groundwater samples may need to be taken and tested for products relating to the incident. For details on how to legally dispose of materials soaked in oil, see Reference 8.

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