Feedback sought on new guidelines for underground fuel storage systems.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released draft Guidelines to support owners of underground fuel storage to protect the environment and surrounding community and is seeking feedback from interested parties.

Underground fuel systems are commonly found at service stations, marinas, work depots, golf courses, airports, car dealerships and where fuel is stored or used.

Leaks and spills from these systems can harm the environment and pose a risk for the community by contaminating land and groundwater.

The draft Guidelines explain how owners can meet the requirements to monitor for, detect and fix leaks promptly to protect the environment and save costly clean-ups.

The Guidelines also set out the performance requirements for maintenance, procedures for fuel storage and delivery, record-keeping, reporting leaks and decommissioning unused systems.

EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations, Steve Beaman said these Guidelines provide industry and councils with clear information to assist with compliance with the UPSS Regulation 2019.

Regulatory responsibility for most underground storage systems such as service stations transitioned from the EPA to councils in 2019.

The draft Guidelines make it easier for underground fuel storage operators and local councils to understand the requirements of the new Regulation,” Mr Beaman said.

The EPA is seeking public feedback so we can ensure the Guidelines are clear, effective and meet the needs of all stakeholders.”

Feedback on the draft Guidelines is welcome from UPSS operators, industry, local councils and the wider community.

Public exhibition of the draft Guidelines for Implementing the Protection of Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019 will begin on 14 September 2020 and continue for four weeks.

Feedback can be provided through the EPA consultation portal at www.yoursay.epa.nsw.gov.au until 16 October 2020.

The EPA will consider feedback before finalising the Guidelines in November 2020.

For more information on underground petroleum storage systems, visit the EPA website.