Why Spill Control is important?
• Avoidance of pollution
• Legislation and the risk of heavy fines
• Best practice and operational efficiency
• Avoidance of bad publicity
• Avoidance of slips and trips and personal injury
What is the legislation and Regulations?
The Water Resources Act 1991
This Act is the key piece of legislation governing discharges to surface waters from non-prescribed processes under Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) (see Environmental Protection Act 1990) in England and Wales. In Scotland, the powers to consent discharges have their basis in the Control of Pollution Act 1974. In Northern Ireland, these powers were granted under The Water Act (Northern Ireland) 1972.
The Control of Pollution Act (COPA) 1974
The former water authorities were responsible for issuing consents for discharges of trade and sewage effluent. They also had a duty to review consents and conditions from time to time and could revoke the consent if it was reasonable to do so or modify the conditions if pollution caused by the discharge was ‘injurious to fauna and flora’.
• Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001
• Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006
• Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2010
• Water Resources (Control of Pollution)(Oil Storage) Wales Regulations 2016
The main requirement is that oil and fuel stored in tanks or containers over 200 litres outside must have secondary containment with a minimum of either 25% of the total volume or 110% of the largest container whichever is greater.
How do I find out about best practice?
• BSIF ESA’s (detail?)
• SEPA Best Practice Guidelines??
How do I carry out a spill risk assessment?
Use or hire a professional spill professional such as an accredited member of the Spill Group of the BSIF.
Why spill prevention is always better than spill response
A spill risk assessment should identify potential areas where a spill could occur and provide the information required to implement preventative measures to avoid and an incident that causes contamination; becomes a danger to staff or ultimately pollutes controlled waters.
What kinds of things are included in a spill prevention plan?
• Identification marking of drains and confirmation of drain mapping
• Drain protection and the ability to close off drains in event of emergency
• Checks on the condition of bulk storage tank bunds
• Storage of drums and IBC’s (indoors and out)
• Containment boom deployment at discharge points
• Topography of the site in relation to the run-off of spilt liquid and or fire water
• Regular spill response training of staff
• The location, size and type of existing spill kits and associated equipment
Where do I find accredited spill trainers?
• BSIF approved accredited spill trainers for industrial operator training
• International Marine Organisation accredited spill trainers for marine applications
Why emergency spill response provision should be differentiated from regular working practices.
• Emergency response provision requires the appropriate spill kits (size, absorbency and type) to be located in sensitive areas and remote from them. They should always be regularly inspected to ensure they are complete and ready for use. Consider them in the same way as you would fire extinguishers and first aid kits; namely only for response to emergency situations.
• The day to day provision of spill control materials including absorbents and wipes should be made freely available from dispensing points around the working areas to allow staff to deal with “production/maintenance” related leaks and spills that occur naturally during the working day.
How do I dispose of contaminated absorbents?
Absorbent materials takes on the characteristics of the liquid absorbed and should be disposed of in accordance with your local authority’s regulations; and as these can differ from one authority to another you should verify your disposal options with them.