If an underground petroleum storage system (UPSS), which was in use on or after 31 March 2010, ceases to be used, Regulation 34(b) of the UPSS Regulations requires that an infrastructure owner must temporarily or permanently decommission the storage system. The Director EPA must be notified within 2 months of ceasing use via the Ceasing Use of UPSS Form.
Ceasing Use of UPSS Form (638Kb)
The 2 month timeframe is extended to 6 months if the system is not in use due to repair or replacement, or where 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.
If a temporarily decommissioned UPSS has not been returned to use within 12 months of ceasing use, an Infrastructure Owner must permanently decommission the storage system in accordance with the UPSS Regulations. Permanent decommissioning of a UPSS that has been temporarily decommissioned must be completed within 16 months of ceasing use. 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 47 of the UPSS Regulations, stating clearly the reasons and timeframe for the requested exemption.
To temporarily decommission a UPSS, the requirements in Australian Standard 4976 (AS4976) The removal and disposal of underground petroleum storage systems, must be complied with. These works should be conducted by a person with experience in this area.
If fuel remains in a UPSS, loss monitoring and leak investigation in accordance with Part 3 of the UPSS Regulations and cathodic protection maintenance and testing in accordance with regulation 9(4) must continue to be undertaken.
WorkSafe 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 and the storage system has 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 WorkSafe Tasmania should be contacted for further information on 1300 366 322.