Summary of Requirements and Definitions

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulations 2020 (UPSS Regulations) responsibilities are allocated to the Landowner, Infrastructure Owner and/or System Operator. A summary of their responsibilities under the UPSS Regulations is listed below along with definitions of key terms used in the regulations.

Summary of Requirements

A summary of requirements is given below. This is not a full list of requirements. The UPSS Regulations and EPA web pages should be referred to for further details. 

All parties are responsible for notifying high levels of groundwater contamination and must keep records relating to the UPSS and its environmental management.

A Landowner must ensure that:

  • ​the Director, EPA is notified prior to a new or replaced storage system being used;​

  • the Director, EPA is notified if they cease to be a landowner;

  • the Director, EPA is notified if they become a landowner;

  • potential purchasers are advised if an environmental site assessment is being conducted on their land; and

  • they keep records of the contact details for all system operators and infrastructure owners.

​An Infrastructure Owner must ensure that:

  • the storage system is compatible with the petroleum stored;

  • mandatory equipment is installed in new systems or where a tank is replaced. Such equipment includes double walled, non-corrodible tanks and lines, overfill protection, tank pit and observations wells;

  • an equipment integrity test (EIT) is conducted when a new UPSS is installed or a UPSS is upgraded or repaired. The system must pass this test before it is used;

  • an environmental site assessment is conducted if contamination is present in an excavation exposed when a UPSS, fill point and/or piping are replaced and/or highly contaminated groundwater is detected;

  • a leak investigation is undertaken if loss monitoring indicates that a storage system is not providing full and continuous containment;

  • an environmental site assessment is conducted if a leak is confirmed;

  • groundwater monitoring wells are installed if the UPSS is in a Groundwater Protection Zone. Wells must be installed two years after the Zone is defined;

  • groundwater monitoring wells are maintained;

  • the Director, EPA is notified if a storage system ceases to be used;​

  • where UPSS are permanently or temporarily decommissioned, they are managed in accordance with the regulations; and

  • an assessment is undertaken when a UPSS is decommissioned to determine whether the surrounding soil and/or groundwater are contaminated by petroleum.

A System Operator must ensure that:

  • loss monitoring is undertaken;

  • the interstitial space in double-walled tanks is monitored six monthly;

  • an initial leak investigation is undertaken if loss monitoring indicates that a storage system is not providing full and continuous containment; 

  • notify an infrastructure owner if a storage system is or may be leaking; and

  • water in groundwater monitoring wells (in groundwater protection zones) is checked for contamination six monthly.​


Some definitions of words used in the regulations are:

Abandoned Storage System – An underground petroleum storage system that was not in use on 31 March 2010 and has not been used since. Abandoned storage systems must not be used. Decommissioning requirements apply to abandoned storage systems. 

Infrastructure Owner - is a person who is the sole or joint owner of the storage system. A landowner may be the infrastructure owner by virtue of the storage system being a fixture on land.

Landowner - is an owner of a parcel of land on which the storage system is situated and includes a person who has, in the exercise of a right under a mortgage, charge or other encumbrance, taken possession of the parcel of land; and has the power to sell or otherwise dispose of the parcel of land.

Small storage system -​ a storage system situated on a parcel of land where the total capacity of all storage systems on the parcel of land is less than 5 500 litres; or a storage system that contains used (waste) oil and has a capacity equal to or more than 5,500L but in which less than 5,500L of used (waste) oil is stored at any one time.

System Operator - a person who manages the day-to-day operations of the storage system or where there is no person who manages the day-to-day operations of the storage system, an infrastructure owner of the storage system.