Pollution Prevention: Dealing with spills

Pollution Prevention: Dealing with SpillsFor anyone responsible for spill management, this Guidance document is for you.

Under the umbrella delivery of regulatory guidance from NetRegs operated under a partnership between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in Northern Ireland and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland, a series of Guidance for Pollution Prevention (GPP) documents are published based on relevant legislation and reflect current good practice. By following their guidance, it can help your organisation manage the environmental responsibilities to prevent pollution and comply with the law.

This guidance document (GPP 22) is for anyone who is responsible for storing and transporting materials that could cause pollution if they spill. It may also be useful for those who respond to spills, or those responsible for transporting or storing waste from spills. The document has been developed with the National Chemical Emergency Centre

This guideline gives information and advice about:

  • Pollution risk assessments
  • Pollution incident response plans
  • The pollution control hierarchy
  • Pollution control methods and equipment you could use to contain spills
  • Site specific pollution control options
  • Spills on a road or highway
  • Clean-up after you’ve contained a spill, including pollutant specific information

Useful tools are provided, such as a Spill Response Procedure & the Source-Pathway-Receptor model for assessing pollution risks together with a model risk assessment in Appendix A & practical steps to deal with a spill incident.

Based on my experiences, special note should be made that spillage prevention is not only about drummed waste but includes tankers and pipelines & is not restricted to hazardous materials, as I have worked with a client, who had a milk spillage that dramatically affected the available oxygen for fish in a nearby river.

The guidance document provides a good starter to understanding the key concepts and issues, which can be supplemented by internal technical resources or external consultants.

A copy of the Guidance on Pollution Prevention (GPP 22 – Version 1) is freely available for download here


  1. Review Guidance on Pollution Prevention (GPP 22 – Version 1) for actions to support your organisation’s spillage prevention and response planning.
  2. Consider the issues for that pollution risk assessment and associated control measures, such as pollution incident response plans and control methods.
  3. Implement appropriate pollution prevention controls for your organisation’s sites, transportation and material use.
Posted i
Share this article on Social Media:

Leave a Reply