Regulation of Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS)

Regulation of Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS)

Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) are typically located on premises where fuel is required including service stations, marinas, depots, and airports. If an underground tank leaks fuel, contamination of surrounding land or water supplies may occur, which is why dedicated systems and management plans are required to prevent, report and fix any leaks, to protect public health and the environment.

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019 implements the requirement of best practice design, system installation, maintenance and monitoring of UPSS in NSW.

As of 1 September 2019, regulation of UPSS is shared between the NSW EPA and local government. The EPA remains the regulatory authority for sites:

  • Operated by public authorities
  • In the unincorporated areas of NSW
  • Subject to an Environment Protection Licence
  • Were subject to a notice issued by the EPA before 1 September 2019 for a matter under the UPSS Regulation until the actions in that notice have been complied with.

Local government is the regulatory authority for all other UPSS sites in the respective local government area.

Responsibilities for UPSS

The person responsible for a UPSS is the person who has ‘management and control’ of the system. The person responsible must have procedures and systems in place to detect and fix any fuel leaks as early as possible, and document these in a Fuel System Operation Plan for the site.

Serious penalties apply to those who allow or ignore contamination resulting from a leaking or faulty UPSS. The person responsible for the UPSS has a duty to notify pollution incidents immediately and then provide a completed UPSS leak notification form within 30 days to Council.

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