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Rules for storing agricultural fuel oil: What all farmers need to know

Rules you must follow for storing agricultural fuel oil, who’s responsible and when to notify the Environment Agency.

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Rules for storing agricultural fuel oil: What all farmers need to know

You must follow these rules if you both:

  • build a new agricultural fuel oil store or make substantial changes to an existing one
  • store over 1,500 litres of agricultural fuel oil on your farm

 

Other rules may apply if you store fuel oil:

  • for domestic purposes
  • for another business you run from your farm
  • in a tanker temporarily for transportation on roads or around your farm
  • in mobile browsers or drums temporarily stored alongside mobile plant

Wherever fuel oil is stored on your land you’re responsible for taking precautions to prevent and contain spillages - for example by fitting an alarm to alert you to overfilling.


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Where to store fuel oil

 

You can store fuel oil in one location or spread across your farm. It must be stored in a tank or drum that meets ISO 9000. (Check the manual that came with your tank or drum, or ask the manufacturer.)

 

No part of your installation can be within 10 metres of inland or coastal waters - including yard drains, dry ditches and land drains.

 

If tanks are underground, they must also follow the Defra Groundwater Protection Code.

 

 

Secondary containment

 

A tank or drum must be surrounded by a secondary containment structure or ‘bund’.

 

The bund must:

  • have a life-expectancy of at least 20 years with maintenance
  • be impermeable to oil and water (walls and base), with no drain-down pipe
  • contain every part of the tank, with taps and valves directed down and locked shut when not in use
  • contain delivery pipes that are permanently attached to the primary tank, which must be fitted with
  • self-closing taps or valves and locked inside when not in use

 

If you buy a combined storage tank and bund system you must make sure it will meet the regulations when in use.

 

You must dispose of any waste fuel oil or mix of oil and water that collects in the bund without causing pollution.

Bund capacity

 

The required capacity of a bund depends on your type of storage.

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