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Pollution Prevention and Control

Pollution prevention and controlPrevention is Better than Cure

At Spill Response Wales, we hope that none of our clients ever have to deal with an environmental incident. However, in our experience, the chances of an incident occurring are significantly reduced through effective preparation and planning, the implementation of pollution prevention and control measures (including spill training for front line staff) and practising your in-house response capability.

The recent Environment Agency (Natural Resources Wales) guidance document PPG22 entitled Dealing with Spills can be a useful reference guide.

Preparation and Planning

The best way to evaluate your preparedness for an environmental incident is to take time out and hold a brief  exercise.  Tell your staff a drum has fallen off a delivery vehicle, split open and is now entering a surface water drain.  A simple exercise like this will tell you all you need to know about your state of preparedness.  If you find that your staff don’t know what to do and the spill kit was used years ago and not replenished, you have effectively completed your own spill response audit.  You may also find your capability is good, but may need slightly updating.

Spill Response Wales recommends using the published Environment Agency (Natural Resources Wales) Guidance Document PPG21 which details how to prepare a Pollution Incident Response Plan in accordance with current UK Best Practice. The basic principle behind the Pollution Incident Response Plan is to prepare a document that collates all the relevant site information needed to respond to a spill (such as contact numbers, tank storage details, drainage plans and the location of spill equipment) to assist site operatives to act effectively.

Pollution Prevention Equipment

The installation of pollution prevention equipment such as bund liners, high level bund and interceptor alarms and enviro valves can provide an additional level of environmental protection. Equipment such as this provides advance warning of potential spill situations (such as full interceptors and high bund water levels) and can seal a site’s drainage system remotely at the flick of a switch in the event of an incident (the enviro valve).

On a more basic level, the provision of appropriate and well stocked spill kits and spill equipment are vital to minimise the impact of any spillage. A site should always ensure that an adequate level of spill protection in the form of spill kits and absorbents is available and that used absorbents are replenished once utilised. Where spills could occur adjacent to sensitive areas, such as drains or watercourses, consideration should be given to additional protective measures such as clay mats or other drain plugging devices.

Spill Training

Training site staff on how to respond to a spill and in the use of spill kits and equipment should form a core part of any pollution prevention measures. Spill training should be completed on an annual basis to ensure new staff are properly instructed and to provide a refresher for existing staff members.

 Call our 24/7 response line on tel: 01550 721 301