Agricultural Buildings Show: Make sure your slurry, silage and fuel stores are up to scratch

Many slurry, silage and fuel storage structures do not meet the SSAFO (Slurry, Silage and Agricultural Fuel Oil) regulations introduced in 1991. But the Environment Agency will advise farmers on the necessary updates required and says its better to acknowledge a problem and rectify it with official guidance than risk causing a serious pollution accident.

Andrew Penton, based at the Environment Agency’s office in Warrington, told farmers attending this week’s Agricultural Buildings Show at Myerscough College, Lancashire that any on-farm slurry, silage or fuel oil storage structure that has been altered since the regulations were enforced in 1991 had to comply.

“Any pre-1991 storage structures must also become compliant. While we are urging farmers to wise up if they are considering additional slurry storage to meet NVZ requirements, we’re on hand to offer advice even if a farmer knows he has a problem over storage. We’re not here solely to impose enforcement.

“Even some contractors aren’t fully aware of the SSAFO regulations so farmers shouldn’t assume they can pass on the onus of responsibility if they are thinking about extra slurry storage capacity. They must also be aware that the EA has to be informed 14 days before any new slurry store is used so that the necessary checks can be carried out,” said Mr Penton.

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