If an underground petroleum storage system (UPSS), which was in use on 31 March 2010, ceases to be used, then within 2 months an Infrastructure Owner must:
- Temporarily decommission the system; or
- Permanently decommission the system.
The 2 month timeframe is extended to 4 months if the system is not in use due to repair or replacement, or if loss verification or an environmental site assessment are being carried out.
A UPSS should only be temporarily decommissioned if there is an intention to re-use the storage system within 12 months (eg it may be triggered by the sale of a property, change of lessee etc). Otherwise, the storage system should be permanently decommissioned. In addition, if a temporarily decommissioned UPSS has not returned to use within the 12 month period, the Infrastructure Owner must permanently decommission the storage system in accordance with the UPSS Regulations. Further information relating to permanent decommissioning is available on the Decommissioning Storage Systems that were in use on 31 March 2010 page.
Please note that, if an extension is required, an exemption can be applied for under Section 39 of the UPSS Regulations, stating clearly the reasons and timeframe for the requested exemption.
The EPA Division does not require notification from an Infrastructure Owner when they temporality decommission a UPSS. However, if they decide to permanently decommission the storage system, a UPSS Decommissioning Storage Systems Form must be completed and submitted to the EPA Director within 7 days of obtaining the decommissioning assessment report.
To temporarily decommission a UPSS, the requirements in Australian Standard 4976 (AS4976) The removal and disposal of underground petroleum storage systems, Section 3: Tanks Temporarily Out-of-Service must be followed.
These works should be conducted by a person with experience in this area.
Workplace Standards Tasmania also has requirements where UPSS are temporarily decommissioned and may be able to suggest companies which undertake these works.
Returning a Temporarily Decommissioned UPSS to Service
A temporarily decommissioned UPSS must not be used again until an Infrastructure Owner has ensured that an equipment integrity test has been conducted. Prior to returning to use, the UPSS must have passed the test. The equipment integrity test results must be kept by the Infrastructure Owner. Relevant occupational health and safety measures may also be applicable, and Workplace Standards Tasmania should be contacted for further information on 1300 366 322.