A range of pollution prevention guidance notes (PPGs) to advise industry and the public on legal responsibilities and good environmental practice.
In partnership with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), we have written a range of pollution prevention guidance notes.
Each PPG gives advice on law and good environmental practice, to help reduce environmental risks from business activities.
- are used by our staff to help customers when we visit businesses and when we answer queries
- provide up-to-date technical and legal compliance advice to help achieve consistent good environmental practice
- set out our national position on a range of activities
- are used to support compliance with permit conditions
The order of this page of guidance follows the activities in the documents:
General good environmental practice
Storing and handling materials and products
- Above ground oil storage tanks: PPG 2 (PDF, 277KB)
Advice on how to store oil safely in above ground oil storage tanks and comply with the law (excludes oil refineries and distribution depots).
- Get to know your oil tank (PDF, 2.3MB)
A guide to looking after your above ground oil storage tank and avoiding pollution, written together with the Oil Firing Technical Association and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers. We recommend you have a look if you’ve got a new tank at your home or business or if you’ve moved into premises with a tank.
- Concrete bunds for oil tanks - Environment Agency/Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) Joint Guidelines (PDF, 292KB)
Guidance for the construction of simple, reinforced concrete bunds for oil storage tanks up to 3.5 metres wide and 0.9 metres high.
- Masonry Bunds for Oil Storage Tanks - Environment Agency/CIRIA Joint Guidelines: (PDF, 483KB)
For the construction of simple, reinforced masonry bunds for oil storage tanks up to 3.5 metres wide and 1.2 metres high.
- Refuelling facilities: PPG 7 - good practice guidelines, July 2011 (664KB)
Good practice in fuel storage and management that can reduce the environmental risk of your site. This also refers to the storage and handling of other liquids commonly used in association with fuel storage and dispensing.
- Installation, decommissioning and removal of underground storage tanks: PPG 27 (PDF, 90KB)
Covers all underground storage tanks (USTs), including those containing petroleum, diesel, fuel oil, aviation fuel, waste oil, domestic heating oil and other potentially polluting materials such as organic solvents. This PPG is currently being rewritten.
- Drums and intermediate bulk containers: PPG 26, (PDF, 355KB)
These guidelines will help you if you are responsible for storing and handling drums and Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs). They are written for site operators of industrial and commercial premises.
Managing your waste
Site drainage, dealing with sewage and trade effluents
- Use and design of oil separators in surface water drainage systems: PPG 3 (PDF, 76KB)
To help you decide if you need an oil separator at your site and, if so, what size and type of separator is appropriate. The separators listed in the document below have passed the performance type test in accordance with Clause 8.3.3 of the European Standard for Separator Systems, BS EN 858-1:2002:
- Oil separator manufacturers Version 11, August 2011 (PDF, 71KB)
- Treatment and disposal of sewage where no foul sewer is available: PPG 4, (PDF, 244KB)
To help you choose the correct option for sewage disposal. This PPG includes information about the treatment and disposal options available, guidance about correct maintenance and your legal requirements. This PPG is currently being rewritten.
- Vehicle washing and cleaning: PPG 13 (PDF, 175KB)
Advice to help you protect the environment when you're washing vehicles using automatic wash systems, high pressure or steam cleaners and washing by hand.
- Cleaning wheeled waste containers: for commercial cleaning companies and householders (PDF, 41KB)
Guidance to help you plan to deal with accidents and emergencies
Safe storage - combustible materials, prevent and control fire
Large fires at waste recycling facilities, particularly those processing tyres (rubber) or wood are a common cause of serious pollution incidents. We’re working with the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA), the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA), the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to reduce the number and impact of these fires.
The development of good practice guidance by the WRA and TRA for operators in the tyre and wood sectors is a key part of that work.
Contact Pollution Prevention for further information about these codes or the storage of other Combustible Waste Materials.
Guidance for specific businesses
Downloading this guidance:
This is a large PDF and will download and work more quickly if you:
- download it using a fast internet connection, for example, download it and save it when you are in an office, rather than using remote access, such as 3G
- wait for the guidance to fully download and then save it to your hard drive or memory stick, rather than trying to open and use it before saving
- ensure you have an up-to-date version of Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader/Writer
Using this guidance:
You can type directly into the checklists to record actions and references. If you have Adobe Writer then you can save any changes you make. If you have Adobe Reader you can only print your changes.
Managing concrete wash waters on construction sites guidance (issued June 2011) (PDF, 112KB)
Additional guidance about dealing with concrete washwaters on construction sites.
Guidance updates and feedback
As we review and update our guidance we will consult widely to make sure it meets the needs of our readers.
We welcome feedback about these guidelines and the topics, even when we aren't reviewing them. Please email us if you have any comments, suggestions for improvement or for additonal guidance we could consider directing people to: