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Information sessions to outline changes to underground fuel storage regulations

04 May 2010

Changes to regulations for underground petroleum storage systems will be outlined at industry information sessions to be held around Tasmania in May.

The sessions will be held at Hobart, Burnie, Bicheno, Queenstown and Launceston. Click here for the dates, times, venues and RSVP details.

The Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulations 2010 commenced on 31 March 2010. They aim to prevent fuel leaks to the greatest extent practicable and to ensure leaks are detected promptly.

The regulations are expected to have a minimal impact on the day-to-day running of a site where the underground fuel tanks are operated in an environmentally responsible manner.

The regulations apply to all underground fuel tanks including those at service stations, industrial premises, commercial sites, farms, automotive retail/hire premises, shops and airports.

Owners and operators are to upgrade existing equipment when it requires replacement, monitor for leaks and decommission equipment appropriately.

An estimated 720 sites around Tasmania are now required to be registered with the EPA.

It is estimated that the regulations will save industry $19 million in avoided remediation costs over five years. Benefits to industry and the community include the protection of groundwater and surface water, and reduced risk to human health (such as toxic vapours in buildings, explosive risks and soil contact hazards) from soil and groundwater contamination.

The regulations reflect the movement by other Australian and international jurisdictions towards adopting legislative policy aimed at reducing the significant environmental risks posed by leaking tanks.