Dear Simplifi User,
My we wish you a very happy Christmas and everything of the best in 2019?
We recently received a query about the regulatory regime for underground fuel tanks (USTs). There is no legislation specific to USTs. Schedule 1 of The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016; SI 2016/1154 covers activities for which an environmental permit is required in England and Wales. The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011; SSI 2011/209 covers similar activities in Scotland. For both pieces of legislation what matters is the type of substance being stored not how it is stored. So for England and Wales the storage of a hazardous substance listed in Schedule 22 of SI 2016/1154, which has the potential to impact surface or groundwater requires an Environmental Permit. USTs located on sites which have Environmental Permits will be included in the scope of the Permit.
Other legislation which may be of relevance includes The Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2015; SI 2015/627 and Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015; SI 2015/483.
Regulation of above ground storage tanks is covered by The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001, SI 2001/2954, The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011; SSI 2011/ 209, Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010; SR 2010/254 and The Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Oil Storage) (Wales) Regulations 2016 (WSI 2016/359)
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published codes of practice on how to prevent pollution from petrol, diesel and other fuel tanks. These are: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prevent-groundwater-pollution-from-underground-fuel-storage-tanks. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has published a Code of Practice on protecting groundwater from pollution from USTs https://gov.wales/docs/desh/publications/170323-underground-storage-groundwater-protection-code-en.pdf. The requirements of the NRW Code of Practice are almost identical to those in the Defra Code of Practice. For Scotland SEPA has published https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/100570/ppg-27-installation-decommissioning-and-removal-of-underground-storage-tanks.pdf. Guidance on USTs which was part of the pollution prevention guidelines (PPG27 Installation, Decommissioning and Removal of underground storage tanks) was withdrawn in December 2015.
DEFRA guidance states “By following this code you should avoid having to apply for an environmental permit issued under the Environmental Permitting Regulations. You must still follow existing codes, guidance and laws, like health and safety regulations!
WSI 2018/1302. The Climate Change (International Aviation and International Shipping) (Wales) Regulations 2018. Comes into force 6th December. These Regulations provide a formula for determining what emissions of greenhouse gases from international aviation and international shipping are to be regarded as Welsh emissions for the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.
Environmental permitting and pollution
SR 2018/200. The Environment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018. Comes into force 24th December. These regulations are made in exercise of the powers in, the European Communities Act 1972 in order to make minor miscellaneous technical amendments to update outdated references in existing legislation that transposes current EU environmental requirements.
Health and Safety.
I 2018/1370. The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make minor amendments to:
SR 2018/1377. The Health and Safety (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make minor amendments to:
SI 2018/1230. The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on 21st December. These Regulations amend a number of sections of the Building Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2214).
SI 2018/1232. The Environmental Assessments and Miscellaneous Planning (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make amendments to legislation in the field of town and country planning and infrastructure planning. The legislation in question is:
SI 2018/1234. The Planning (Hazardous Substances and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. Amends SI 2015/627 The Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2015. These Regulations: replace a number of references to EU Directives to references within the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015. (SI 2015/483).
SI 2018/1307. The Conservation of Habitats and Species and Planning (Various Amendments) (England and Wales) Regulations 2018. Comes into force 28th December. These Regulations transpose Article 6(3) of Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (“the Habitats Directive”). They amend:
SI 2018/1325. The Pipe-lines, Petroleum, Electricity Works and Oil Stocking (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day.
These Regulations amend—
SR 2018/1235. The Planning (Environmental Assessments and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. Makes minor amendments to:
Radiation and Radioactive substances
SI 2018/1278. The Ionising Radiation (Basic Safety Standards) (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make amendments to the Ionising Radiation (Basic Safety Standards) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/482).
There have been no new relevant consultations announced during December.
Prosecutions of note.
A North Yorkshire bakery company was fined £159,080 for safety breaches after employees suffered long term exposure to flour dust, a respiratory sensitiser. Some were medically diagnosed as suffering from occupational asthma. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that over a fourteen year period to 2016 there was no effective method of control to prevent the dust becoming airborne and employees being exposed to breathing in the dust.