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Are You Storing Red Diesel Correctly?

Considering the environmental implications of such a question, it could make the most conscientious farmer a little tense. The rules for storing red diesel vary depending on your location and the age of your storage facility. For answers to any specific questions or to obtain general advice, you can contact your environmental regulator.

Who is Subject to the Rules on Red Diesel?

The storage of red diesel fuel or tractor diesel as it is more commonly known in the agricultural community is subject to different rules in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Tanks in England or Wales installed prior to 1991 or with a capacity of less than 1,550 liters’ are exempt from complying with the rules. Similarly, tanks installed in Northern Ireland prior to 2003 or with a capacity of less than 1,250 liters’ are exempt.

Although, if your environmental regulator deems your facility an environmental hazard, he may require improvements. Scotland applies their rules for storing red diesel to all such facilities.

What About New Construction?

These rules apply to new installation as well and the requirements are designed to prevent any red diesel fuel spills from seeping into the water table or a watercourse. New construction requires notification to the local environmental regulator, from two weeks to a month in advance. Their job is to ensure proper design specifications and compliance with the rules for the bund, the leak containment vessel, as well as the tank itself.

The construction rules provide that bunds accommodate leaks from faulty valves as well as the tanks. Valves must be designed to discharge down into the bund. The bund must be impermeable to water or oil and have a specific capacity to accommodate any leaks.

Storing oil in fixed tanks?

If you store oil in a fixed tank you must comply with the relevant requirements of the Oil Storage Regulations. In Northern Ireland and Wales the regulations do not apply, however, you should still try to meet the requirements of the regulations, as the regulations aim to prevent water pollution. As a result, if you pollute the water course you are committing an offence and may be prosecuted and fined.

Storing oil in mobile bowsers

If you consider using a mobile bowser to store oil in England or Scotland, you need to comply with the relevant requirements of the Oil Storage Regulations. The overall requirements of the Oil Storage Regulations also apply to mobile bowser use. In Northern Ireland and Wales the regulations do not apply, however, you should still try to meet the requirements of the regulations, as the regulations aim to prevent water pollution. As a result, if you pollute the water course you are committing an offence and may be prosecuted and fined. One of the key points when using a mobile bowser is you must Secure your bowser’s pipework and fittings when the bowser is not in operation or not in use.

Guidance for storing oil above ground

All businesses that store oil above ground must put measures in place that minimises risk of pollution.  All oil containers shored be embedded within a drip tray, bund or any other suitable secondary containment system that will help contain any oil that leaks from its container.