Australian Enviro Services is experienced in tank removal, in-situ abandonment and other related fuel infrastructure decommissioning services. Underground fuel storage tanks (USTs) that are no longer required or are unsuitable for the storage of petroleum or hazardous products need to be dealt with in timely and appropriate manner. Over time USTs and associated pipework are likely to corrode and inevitably leak. The greatest potential threat from a leaking UST is contamination of soil and groundwater. A leaking UST can present other health and environmental risks, including the potential for fire and explosion. The environmental and financial impacts to the tank owner, neighbouring properties and the broader community can be significant if not handled professionally.
The safe removal of USTs and the potential remediation of surrounding contaminated soil and groundwater is a technical process that should only be tackled by an experienced professional. A firm grasp of legislation, environmental considerations, OH&S and project management requirements are necessary to complete the tank removal process safely, effectively and legally.
Tank Removal – Legislative Guidelines
The guidelines in NSW that cover tank removal and site validation include, but are not limited to:
- Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2014
- AS 4976 (2008) The Removal and Disposal of Underground Petroleum Storage Tanks
- NSW EPA Technical Note: Investigation of Service Station Sites (2014)
- National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure (2013)
In short, only an appropriately licensed, experienced and trained professional should undertake UST removal works.
Tank Removal – Safety Requirements
Safety requirements that need to be considered during fuel tank removal works include, but are not limited to:
- Workers being General OH&S inducted and site specific inducted
- Establishment of exclusion zones consisting of but not limited to fencing and safety signage
- Elimination of ignition sources within the exclusion zone
- 2 x 9kg dry chemical fire extinguishers
- Lower explosive limit (LEL) and oxygen monitoring
- Personal protection equipment (PPE) that includes long pants and shirts, half face air respirator (task specific), safety vest, steel capped boots, gloves, helmet and safety glasses