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Installing a New Fuel Tank

Are you installing a new underground petroleum storage system (UPSS) or replacing an underground fuel tank? To reduce the environmental risk and harm from a leaking UPSS, the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulations 2010 (UPSS Regulations), require that a new UPSS must meet best environmental and industry practices. This section summarises the key requirements set out in the UPSS Regulations for new underground petroleum storage systems.

It is recommended that a person experienced in installing UPSSs and who is well versed in the UPSS Regulations and AS4897–2008: Design, installation and operation of underground petroleum storage systems (AS4897), is contracted to install the UPSS and undertake the equipment integrity/tightness testing. Your fuel distributor and Workplace Standards Tasmania may be able to put you in contact with the appropriate people.

Installing a New Storage System where an Existing Tank is Not Replaced

Mandatory equipment

The UPSS Regulations specify that an infrastructure owner must ensure that a new UPSS incorporates mandatory equipment as defined in the Regulations, including the following:

  1. a non-corrodible tank and non-corrodible piping;
  2. secondary containment for a tank and piping;
  3. a dispenser sump;
  4. fill point equipment;
  5. overfill protection equipment;
  6. a tank pit observation well; and
  7. equipment that earths a storage system.

The mandatory equipment must be designed and installed in accordance with the requirements of AS4897.

Equipment Integrity Test

An infrastructure owner of a new storage system must ensure that before the storage system is used for the first time, an equipment integrity test (tightness test) has been conducted after all installation work. This includes completion of concreting and sealing. The storage system must pass the equipment integrity test prior to it being used. The equipment integrity test must be able to detect a leak of 0.38 litres per hour.

Notifying the EPA Director

A person who will be the system operator of a new storage system must, before the storage system is used for the first time, notify the EPA Director using the Notification of New Storage System Form.

Replacing a Fuel Tank

If a tank forming part of a storage system is to be replaced, an infrastructure owner of the storage system must ensure that the whole storage system is replaced and the new storage system incorporates the mandatory equipment (see above), designed and installed in accordance with the requirements of AS 4897.

There are different requirements relating to the UPSS being replaced depending on whether: 

  • the new UPSS will be installed in the same location as the replaced UPSS; or
  • the new UPSS will be installed in a different location to the UPSS being replaced.

In both cases before a new storage system is used:

  • an infrastructure owner must ensure that an equipment integrity test (tightness test) is conducted after all replacement work, including concreting and sealing, must be completed. The storage system must have passed the integrity test prior to it being used. The equipment integrity test must be able to detect a leak of 0.38 litres per hour; and
  • a person who will be the system operator of a new storage system must, before the storage system is used for the first time, notify the EPA Director using the Notification of a New Storage System Form.
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New UPSS installed in same location as replaced UPSS

The old UPSS should be removed by a suitably experienced person due to the explosive risks posed by petroleum vapours.

An infrastructure owner of the storage system being replaced must ensure that the area of land that is excavated to enable the replacement of the storage system is scrutinised for petroleum contamination. A person who is required to scrutinise soil or water is not required to use probes, testing or analysis, but can do so.

If scrutiny of the excavation detects apparent petroleum contamination, an infrastructure owner of the storage system must, within 7 days after its detection, notify the EPA Director of the contamination and that an environmental site assessment will be carried out. The environmental site assessment must begin within 14 days after the contamination is detected and must be carried out in accordance with Regulation 26 of the UPSS Regulations and the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999.

New UPSS will be installed in a different location to the UPSS being replaced

Under the UPSS Regulations a storage system that was in use on/after 31 March 2010 cannot be abandoned when it is not longer in use. If the new UPSS is to be installed in a different location on site, the replaced UPSS must be decommissioned upon its ceasing use in accordance with the UPSS Regulations. For further information on decommissioning click here 

Contaminated Sites Unit
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599 Fax: 03 6173 0254
Email: EnvironmentEnquiries@environment.tas.gov.au