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Decommissioning Abandoned Storage Systems


A person required to obtain a Decommissioning Assessment Report must engage a professional who is certified under the CEnvP(Site Contamination) scheme to manage the works and actions required and to author the report. The directory of certified practitioners is located at: https://www.cenvp.org/directory/ (ensure that the certification type for the consultant states “Site Contamination Specialist Certification").

Further  information is available on the Engaging a Contaminated Site Assessment Consultant web page.


Abandoned storage systems are systems that were not in use on 31 March 2010 and have not been used since.

The UPSS Regulations do not require that abandoned storage systems are decommissioned within a certain timeframe. The intent of the regulations is that abandoned storage systems will be decommissioned when the infrastructure owner determines that they want to decommission the storage system (for example during redevelopment of a site, as part of a sale agreement etc).

Please note that Workplace Standards Tasmania also has requirements in relation to the decommissioning of underground petroleum storage systems.

Summary of Requirements

If an abandoned storage system is to be decommissioned, Regulation 31 of the UPSS Regulations requires that:

  • The storage system must be removed and disposed of in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4976 - The removal and disposal of underground petroleum storage tanks (AS 4976) or where the storage system cannot be removed safely without serious risk to the safety of people or adjoining infrastructure, the tanks can be decommissioned in-situ, in accordance with AS 4976, without being removed. Note - all lines, fill points etc still need to be removed even if the tank is decommissioned in-situ.

  •  The removal or in-situ decommissioning of the UPSS should be done by a suitably experienced person due to the explosive risk posed by petroleum vapours.

  • An assessment must be conducted to determine whether petroleum has contaminated soil and groundwater in the vicinity of the storage system (i.e. has the system leaked into the environment and what level of contamination is present) and whether this contamination is likely to cause harm to the environment (including human health).

  • The works and actions associated with the assessment must be managed by a professional who is certified under the CEnvP(Site Contamination) scheme.

  • The assessment must be conducted in accordance with the EPA Guideline UPSS2 - Underground Petroleum Storage Systems: Decommissioning Assessment - Sampling and Risk Assessment Requirements (see link under Related Documents).

  • A Decommissioning Assessment Report detailing the assessment must be obtained by the infrastructure owner within 4 months of decommissioning occurring.
  • The decommissioning report must be written in accordance with the EPA guideline UPSS1 - Underground Petroleum Storage Systems: Decommissioning Assessment Report Requirements (see link under Related Documents).

  • The report must be written by a professional who is certified under the CEnvP(Site Contamination) scheme.

  • The Decommissioned UPSS Form must be completed and submitted to the Director within 7 days of obtaining the report (see link under Related Documents). 

Disposal of Soil and Liquid

Please note that all tank/storage system contents and any soil or water contaminated with petroleum are likely to be controlled wastes and if they are a controlled waste they must be transported and disposed of or treated appropriately. Information relating to controlled waste is available on the Controlled Waste webpage.

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