Petroleum industry stakeholder briefing and discussion forum
proper management of Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) is a
significant legal obligation for all service station operators under State and
Territory Environmental Laws
simple act of storing fuel underground means that there is a risk of
contamination of soil, groundwater and natural waterways (via transport of
pollutants through soil or via groundwater.
service station operator around the country therefore has an absolute
obligation to monitor the operation of their UPSS on a continual basis to allow
the early detection of any system leads, as a means of managing their
2008, the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) introduced the
Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage
Systems) Regulation. This regulation outlines the minimum requirements for the
design and operation (including monitoring) of UPSS.
would be fair to say that the operation and enforcement of this Regulation
created considerable angst for the fuel retail industry during the early years
and led to significant confusion amongst fuel retailers and EPA enforcement
officers alike”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.
much of this confusion has diminished as enforcement officers gained an
understanding of fuel industry operation – and fuel retailers learned how to
accommodate these minimum requirements”, said Mark
a move that is likely to be challenging, the NSW Government is now preparing to
transfer the responsibility for enforcement of the UPSS Regulation to Local
Councils on 1 September 2019.
the early problems with the operation and enforcement of these laws, it is
vital that Council enforcement officers are skilled in the proportionate
enforcement of the UPSS Regulations
principal concern is to ensure that Local Council Officers are properly trained
and knowledgeable with respect to future enforcement of the UPSS Regulation”,
the NSW EPA has commenced a consultative process with industry to discuss
issues associated with the proposed transfer of regulatory responsibility.
aspect of this consultation will be the conduct of a Stakeholder Briefing in Sydney on 27 March 2019, where the EPA will
provide information in respect of:
- Updated EPA guidance material on UPSS management
being taken in respect of training and capacity building for council officers
future approach for evaluating UPSS operator performance and compliance
to be used for following up previously exempt or non-compliant sites.
Forum is being held at the EPA’s Sydney Office (59 Goulburn Street, Sydney)
between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday the 27th of March 2019.
Further information about the forum can be found HERE).
for this Forum can be made by emailing your contact details to UPSSREG@epa.nsw.gov.au
is a significant change in the enforcement of an important Regulation for our
industry and I urge both fuel retailer and industry contractors involved in UPSS
Management to attend this Forum”, said Mark.
its part, ACAPMA will be attending the Forum and will continue to work
co-operatively with the NSW EPA to ensure that the future enforcement of the
UPSS Regulation is carried out efficiently and effectively by qualified
personnel, with minimum inconvenience caused to fuel retail businesses.