New regulations applying to Underground Petroleum Storage Systems from 1 September 2014

28 August 2014


The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2014 (NSW) (Proposed Regulation) will replace the Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2008 (NSW) (Current Regulation) from 1 September 2014.

The Proposed Regulation aims to enhance the management of underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS), which have the potential to cause contamination and damage to the environment if leaking occurs, resulting in extensive clean-up costs. 

This article identifies the manner in which the Proposed Regulation affects the management of UPSSs in New South Wales.

What are UPSS?

UPPSs are defined by the Proposed Regulation as a system of tanks, pipes, valves and other equipment designed to contain petroleum or control the passage of petroleum between one part of a storage system to another.

Why a new regulation?

The Proposed Regulation will bring the regulation of UPSSs into line with Australian Standard 4897-2008: The design, installation and operation of underground petroleum storage systems (AS4897-2008) with the intention of improving site infrastructure and enabling the early detection of petroleum leaks. The objectives of the Proposed Regulation are to:

  • clarify and align regulatory requirements with other legislation and industry best practice;
  • improve documentation of site management procedures;
  • improve enforceability of requirements;
  • encourage the use of new technologies in the monitoring of UPSS; and
  • reduce duplication in record-keeping.

What does the Proposed Regulation apply to?

The Proposed Regulation applies to all sites with active UPSSs in New South Wales. This includes petrol station sites, bulk fuel deposit sites, and sites with UPSSs in use by small businesses (such as workshops and marinas).

The Proposed Regulation does not apply to premises which are licensed to store petroleum products under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) nor does it apply to above ground, liquefied petroleum gas storage systems or “scheduled activity” storage systems.

Under the Proposed Regulation, the EPA will continue to have the power to provide exemptions from compliance with requirements of the Proposed Regulation. 

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The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.

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Louise Camenzuli

Partner. Sydney
+61 2 9210 6621


Daniel Webster

Associate. Sydney
+61 2 9210 6145