The New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has released draft guidelines to support owners of underground fuel storage to protect the environment and surrounding community and is seeking feedback from stakeholders.
Underground fuel systems are commonly found at service stations, marinas, work depots, airports and other places where fuel is stored or used. Leaks and spills from these systems can harm the environment and pose a risk for the community by contaminating land and groundwater.
The draft Guidelines outline how owners can meet the requirements to monitor for, detect and fix leaks promptly to protect the environment and save costly clean-ups.
The Guidelines also set out the performance requirements for maintenance, procedures for fuel storage and delivery, record-keeping, reporting leaks and decommissioning unused systems.
EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations, Steve Beaman, said the Guidelines provide industry and councils with clear information to assist with compliance with the UPSS Regulation 2019.
“Regulatory responsibility for most underground storage systems such as service stations transitioned from the EPA to councils in 2019,” he detailed.
“The draft Guidelines make it easier for underground fuel storage operators and local councils to understand the requirements of the new Regulation.”
“The EPA is seeking public feedback so we can ensure the Guidelines are clear, effective and meet the needs of all stakeholders,” Mr Beaman said.
Feedback on the draft Guidelines is welcome from UPSS operators, industry, local councils and the wider community.
Public exhibition of the draft Guidelines for Implementing the Protection of Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019 commenced on 14 September 2020 and will continue for four weeks.
Feedback can be provided through the EPA consultation portal at https://yoursay.epa.nsw.gov.au/guidelines-underground-fuel-tanks until 16 October 2020.
The EPA will consider feedback before finalising the Guidelines in November 2020.
For more information on underground petroleum storage systems, visit the EPA website.