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Underground Petroleum Storage Systems

Councils are designated as the ‘appropriate regulatory authority’ to administer the Protection of Environment Operations (UPSS Regulation) 2019. Hence Councils are responsible for the design, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of UPSS in their respective local government area.

This responsibility pertains to:

  • Development applications for new or ‘significantly modified’ UPSS, and
  • UPSS sites maintaining compliance with requirements of the UPSS Regulation.

The operation of UPSS will result in site contamination over time and is one of the most common sources of land contamination in local government areas. Hence pollution prevention principles are an important consideration for Council in its development control processes.

The key concepts of the UPSS Regulation are:

  • Pollution prevention through discharge control, reduction at the source and early warning system (loss monitoring and leak detection)
  • Cleaner production through best industry practice and Australian Standards for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of UPSS, and
  • Monitoring and report through good systems and backup.

Best practice resources are available to assist Councils navigate and implement their ARA responsibilities under the UPSS Regulation 2019. These include:

  • ‘UPSS systems and Council ARA responsibilities’,
  • ‘A guide for retail service station owners on managing UPSS systems’ that is an educational resource for small independent retail service station owners,
  • Selecting a consultant to undertake category 2 remediation works,
  • Managing offsite transport of contaminants in soil,
  • Checklists that can be used to ensure Council has the required level of confidence in the validation report
  • Interpreting and using a validation report
  • A range of tools, forms and templates for the ongoing monitoring of UPSS sites
  • UPSS inspections – training video (webinar 3)

Councils can elect to implement a UPSS inspection program to monitor the ongoing compliance of UPSS sites to the UPSS Regulation 2019 (and/or development consent). A range of tools, forms and templates are provided to inform Council decision-making on whether to initiate an inspection program (see resources and training materials page).

Further information on what these tools are and how they can be used by Councils is provided in the Council Guidance on Implementing the Contaminated Land Policy resource ( PDF | Word ).