The Environmental Agency has produced a number of Pollution Prevention Guideline Documents for you to understand your responsibilities and what you can do to ensure site security. You can visit the EA website or you can view a copy of the various different guidelines below.

For help in understanding your needs please contact us.


PPG 1 - General Guide

Businesses and individuals are responsible for complying with environmental regulations and for preventing pollution of air, land and water. Many thousands of pollution incidents occur each year, originating from factories farms, transport activities and even homes. Each incident is an offence and can result in prosecution as well as environmental damage. However, most cases are avoidable, given careful planning of operations, responsible waste management and suitable facilities to reduce the risk of spillage – along with simple precautions to deal with any spillages, in case they occur.


PPG 2 – Above Ground Tanks

Oil is the commonest pollutant in the UK. These guidelines are intended to help reduce pollution caused by inadequate storage of oil in above ground tank installations. In cases where the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 do not apply (see References 1 and 2), following these guidelines will minimise the risk of your site causing pollution. Further advice on storage in drums and intermediate bulk containers is available from the Agencies (PPG26; Reference 3). A range of Oil Care Campaign literature and stickers covering the complete life cycle of oil is also available from the Agencies.


PPG 3 – Interceptors

These guidelines will help you decide if you need an oil separator at your site and, if so, what size and type of separator is appropriate. Oil separators can be fitted to surface water drainage systems to protect the environment from pollution by oils. They separate the oil from the water, and then retain the oil safely until it is removed. They are installed to contain oil leaks from vehicles and plant and accidental spillages. To be effective, oil separators need to be correctly designed, installed and maintained.


PPG 5 – Works near Water

These guidelines cover construction and maintenance works in, near or liable to affect surface waters and groundwaters. Your construction and maintenance activities in or near water have the potential to cause serious pollution or impact on the bed and banks of a watercourse and on the quality and quantity of the water. Some activities with the potential for affecting watercourses or groundwater may require either consent in England and Wales under the Water Resources Act 1991 or an authorisation in Scotland under the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (also referred to as CAR) – see reference 1. In Scotland depending on the nature of the activity there are three levels of authorisation.


PPG 13 – Washing Vehicles

This guidance covers vehicle washing and cleaning by all methods, including:

  • automatic wash systems
  • washing by hand
  • using high pressure or steam cleaners

at all sites including:

  • retail premises
  • business and industrial premises
  • public and private car parks
  • former petrol filling stations


PPG 18 – Firewater

This guidance document gives examples of good practice for the protection of the environment in the management of run-off generated in the event of fire (or fire water) and major spillages. It aims to help site operators consider what is appropriate for a specific site, taking into account the risks and site layout. It focuses on containment strategies, physical structures that can be used to contain firewater and spillages (so called “secondary containment” facilities) and equipment.


PPG 21 – Incident Response Planning

These guidelines set out best practice for producing an incident response plan to deal with an environmental incident on your site. Following such a plan will help you to prevent or reduce environmental damage if such an incident occurs. The guidelines set out:

  • why you need a plan;
  • what information you should include;
  • who should be involved in its production;
  • what supporting procedures you may need to implement the plan;
  • what the plan should look like by providing a template (at the end of these guidelines).


PPG 22 – Dealing With Spills

These guidelines apply if you’re responsible for storing and transporting materials that could cause pollution if they leak or are spilt. They’re our good practice guidelines to help you identify measures to prevent, limit or reduce damage to the environment and risk to public health from a spill. They are for:

  • site operators of industrial and commercial premises;
  • vehicle operators;
  • other organisations, authorities and businesses who store or handle polluting materials;
  • sewage treatment providers.

Get in touch with one of the team to discuss your requirements

Get in touch with one of the team to discuss your requirements

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