Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is assessing information provided by service stations across Victoria to ensure they are managing their sites to prevent fuel leaks.
In September 2015, EPA asked petrol station owners (covering 1400 sites across Victoria) to voluntarily complete a self-evaluation to ensure they were meeting the requirements set out in EPA Victoria’s guidelines for underground petroleum storage systems (UPSSs).
They were asked to submit a report to EPA advising whether their self-evaluation identified any requirements in the guidelines not being met and if so, what corrective action they were going to take to minimise risks posed by UPSSs.
EPA Chief Executive Officer Nial Finegan said more than 80 per cent of sites from across the state returned a voluntary self-evaluation report.
“Now EPA is checking the accuracy of information provided in the reports and will follow up on the commitment of operators to take corrective action where needed,” he said.
“EPA will carry out random inspections, phone calls, desktop assessments and site visits with key industry groups and retailers to ensure owners are regularly monitoring for leaks and properly acting upon any indication of a possible leak.
“Sites have been given a generous amount of time to complete actions to prevent leaks.”
“EPA is prioritising inspections at sites that did not return a self-evaluation report and is also visiting a selection of sites that did submit their reports to verify the information provided.”
“Where necessary, EPA will enforce compliance to ensure UPSSs are being properly managed and not leaking.”
“Underground petroleum storage systems are one of the most common sources of land and groundwater contamination.”
“They have the potential to leak, leading to loss of product, expensive clean-up costs, damage to the environment and human health.”
“In response to this, EPA developed its UPSS program to promote compliance with its guidelines and encourage behaviour change across the industry to reduce the risks posed by leaking UPSSs.”
For further information, visit www.epa.vic.gov.au/upss