PPG26 Guidelines – Storage & Handling Chemical Drums & IBC’s

5th November 2015

PPG26 is a pollution control guideline produced by the Environment Agency for England and Wales, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, which provides guidance on the handling and storage of chemical drums and IBC’s. Following these guidelines will help reduce the risk of environmental pollution from your site and therefore reduce your exposure to legal action and costly fines, clean up costs and of course, negative business publicity.

The key points from the guidelines are:

  1. Ensure that your primary chemical storage containers (U.N. approved Drums and IBC’s) are in good, rust-free condition, are clearly labelled and are covered/protected from the elements.
  2. Store only the minimum working quantity of chemicals on site.
  3. Segregate incompatible chemicals.
  4. Fit warning signs and provide details of chemicals (Material Safety Data Sheets) within your chemical storage area.
  5. Position your chemical storage unit a minimum of 10 metres from surface water and 50 metres from a borehole, spring or well.
  6. Store your chemical drums and IBC’s on or in a secondary containment system or bund.
  7. Ensure that the bund in your chemical store is resistant to attack from the chemicals stored above.
  8. A spill bund cannot be fitted with an outlet.
  9. The minimum bund capacities are: Single IBC: 110% of IBC volume, i.e. 1100 litre bund for 1000 litre IBC. Multiple IBC’s: 25% of total volume or 110% of largest IBC stored – whichever is the greatest volume. Single Drum: 25% of drum volume ( for Scotland 110% of drum volume). Multiple Drums: 25% of total drum storage ( for Scotland 110% of single largest drum volume or 25% of total volume stored – whichever is the greatest volume.)
  1. Assess the risk of chemical spills and put a plan in place to deal with spills which occur both inside your bunded chemical store and during deliveries and chemical movements.
  2. Put spill kits in place both inside and outside your chemical store to deal with any potential chemical spills.
  1. Put a system in place to regularly inspect the condition of chemical drums and IBC’s.

If you are storing highly flammable liquids you will also need to adhere to the recommendations of the HSE HS(G)51- Storage of flammable liquids in containers. If you are storing pesticides and agri-chemicals, you will need to also adhere to the requirements of the Defra code of practice for suppliers of pesticides.

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