The UPSS Regulation applies to all underground petroleum storage systems in NSW, which are defined as storage systems that include:
- one or more tank(s) which are completely or partially buried in the ground which contain, or are intended to contain, petroleum
- any piping to, from or associated with the tanks to the inlet port of any dispensers, but not vent and vapour recovery piping.
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The UPSS Regulation does not apply to:
- storage systems with tanks situated wholly above ground (regardless of where any associated pipes and other equipment are situated)
- sumps, separators, stormwater or wastewater collection systems, catchment basins,pits, septic tanks or other like structures, unless petroleum routinely passes through the structure from one part of the storage system to another
- bunded tanks situated below ground level but which are not buried in the ground (such as in a basement, cellar or tunnel)
- liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage systems
- UPSS that are classed as a ‘scheduled activity’ under Schedule 1 to the POEO Act,namely those systems which store over 2000 tonnes of petroleum products or more than 5 tonnes of liquid waste, as these are regulated through an environment protection licence issued under that Act
- underground storage systems that do not contain petroleum.
Categories of UPSS
According to the UPSS Regulation which was gazetted in March 2008 and took effect on 1 June 2008. The timeframe for implementing a specific requirement of the Regulation is dependent on whether a ‘new’ or ‘old’ UPSS is involved:
‘New’ UPSS: All UPSS which received development approval on or after the commencement of the Regulation on 1 June 2008 are considered ‘new’ UPSS and must comply fully with the Regulation before being commissioned.
‘Old’ UPSS: All UPSS which received development approval before the commencement of the Regulation on 1 June 2008 are considered ‘old’ UPSS. These systems need to comply with all requirements of the Regulation but over a deferred timetable. However DECCW encourages operators of these sites to consider the benefits of compliance in any minor upgrades and daily operations.
‘Significantly’ modified UPSS: Any ‘significant’ modification to an old or new UPSS triggers the need for the system to comply fully with the Regulation. ‘Significant’ means any modification to a system that involves:
- replacement of half or more of the tanks (at any one time), or
- work which requires development approval.
The specific requirements of the UPSS Regulation are detailed in Sections 2–6 of these guidelines. Many of these requirements are based on industry best practice, such as AS4897–2008: Design, installation and operation of underground petroleum storage systems (AS 2008a) and AS4976–2008: The removal and disposal of underground petroleum storage tanks (AS 2008b).
Source: Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) From 1 July 2009
Guidelines for Implementing the Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems)Regulation 2008
If you need removal of an underground storage tank, contact Australian Enviro Services.