Underground petroleum storage systems
The UPSS Regulation was amended in November 2011 to extend the EPA’s role as appropriate regulatory authority for implementing the Regulation for another five years to June 2017. It is anticipated that local councils will resume broader regulatory roles under the Regulation after this date.
Underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) have the potential to leak, leading to expensive clean-up bills and damage to the environment. Persistent leaks can have a major impact on neighbouring properties and impose very significant costs on the tank owner and the broader community.
The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2008 requires owners and operators to regularly check for leaks in the fuel tanks and pipes used to store and handle petroleum products. They also need to meet minimum standards in their day-to-day environmental management of these storage systems.
The Regulation was gazetted on 28 March 2008 and commenced on 1 June 2008 and aims to:
introduce preventative measures to reduce harm to the environment and human health
save money and minimise time-consuming remediation by preventing leaks or dealing with them early
ensure industry best practice is followed
- ensure appropriate validation and decommissioning of systems and sites.
Under the Regulation, it is against the law to allow or ignore contamination resulting from a leaking or faulty UPSS.
The person responsible for a UPSS (usually the owner/operator) is required to have in place:
a system for detecting and monitoring leaks
groundwater monitoring wells at sensitive locations and a program to test them
systems in place for record keeping, reporting of leaks and notifying the local council when a UPSS is decommissioned.
Implementing the UPSS Regulation
View detailed guidelines and technical notes on implementing and meeting the requirements of the UPSS Regulation.
Exemptions from the UPSS Regulation
Some operators may be exempted from meeting certain requirements of the Regulation: more details
Phone Environment Line on 131 555 (toll free in NSW) or (02) 9995 5555.
Page last updated: 07 January 2013