Oil Storage Regulations (Scotland)

In Scotland SEPA are responsible for enforcing the Oil Storage Regulations, the legislation is slightly different to that used in England and Northern Ireland but ultimately is in place to help safeguard the environment from damaged caused by unsuitable oil or fuel storage tanks.

SEPA, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency use SSI (Scottish Statutory Instrument) 2006 No 133 ‘The Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006' to define the requirements of the regulations.

The above instrument was made in exercise of the powers conferred by section 20 and 36(2) and (3) of, and schedule 2 to, the Water Environment and Water Services Act 2003. The instrument is subject to negative resolution procedure.

The Regulations set design standards for the storage of oil, both in fixed and in mobile containers, and the timescales within which new and existing containers need to comply with the regulations. A key element is secondary containment, such as a “bunded tank”, to ensure leaking or spilt oil does not enter controlled waters. They also include notice procedures where SEPA consider that works, precautions or other steps need to be carried out on existing containers during the transition period, to minimise pollution risks to the environment. Equivalent regulations for England were made in 2001; in some cases organisations that operate on a UK basis are already working to the proposed standards. The inclusion of agricultural fuel oil within the rules is in line with our commitment to meeting the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

The adjacent flowchart found on the preceding page can also be used to define the need to bund your installation.

For more details, please either visit the respective page on SEPA’s website:



...or write to:

Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department
Water Division
Victoria Quay