On 1 September 2019 NSW Councils will reassume responsibility for regulating most underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) in their local areas. 
It is estimated there are more than 3000 operating UPSS sites in NSW and councils will regulate around 2000 sites which are mostly service stations.  The EPA will remain the regulator for around 1000 UPSS sites which hold an EPA licence, are operated by a public authority, are in unincorporated areas of the state or are subject to a regulatory notice issued by the EPA.  

Update of the UPSS Regulation
To coincide with this transition to shared regulatory responsibility, the UPSS Regulation has now been updated and simplified.  The 2014 Regulation expires on 31 August 2019. A draft Regulation was released for public consultation in May and June 2019 and comments received have been considered in the preparation of the final Regulation. 

The updated Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019 commences on 1 September 2019 and includes

  • Some minor changes to definitions to streamline and clarify the requirements for UPSS operators. 
  • Closer alignment with Australian Standard AS4897-2008 The design, installation and operation of underground petroleum storage systems
  • A requirement to advise councils 30 days in advance of any decommissioning of a UPSS so they have better knowledge and visibility over UPSS sites in their local areas. 

You can view the updated regulation at: https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/regulations/2019-411.pdf

What help is the EPA offering councils?

The EPA is currently delivering a training package on regulating UPSS sites for local council officers.  It includes free face to face training in metropolitan and regional locations from August to November 2019. The first workshops were held this week in Parramatta, Queanbeyan and Surry Hills.

From September, there will also be on-line training available covering all aspects of the design, construction, operation and regulation of UPSS. 

Handover information

The EPA is giving each of the 128 local councils in NSW a ‘handover package’ of information about known UPSS sites in their local area.

The package includes templates for inspections, leak notification forms and guidance materials to assist council officers in undertaking inspections, determining compliance with the Regulation. 

The training and handover information is to help councils adopt a consistent regulatory approach to UPSS sites and so they won’t need to ‘reinvent the wheel’.

Who do I contact for more information?

You can visit the EPA’s Underground petroleum storage systems webpage to keep up to date, or contact the EPA’s UPSS team by email on UPSSREG@epa.nsw.gov.au with any queries.

If you wish to be added to the EPA’s communication database to receive these newsletters, please let us know by emailing UPSSREG@epa.nsw.gov.au