Programs and initiatives

Underground petroleum storage systems at service stations

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) runs an ‘Underground Petroleum Storage Systems at Service Stations’ program that aims to reduce the risks to people and the environment from leaking underground petroleum storage systems (UPSSs).

Victorians are privileged to have a healthy environment that supports prosperous communities. UPSSs at service stations are one of the most common sources of both land and groundwater contamination. UPSSs have the potential to leak, leading to expensive cleanup costs, damage to the environment and risks to human health. Everyone – government, industry, business and community members – has a role in protecting our environment for future generations.

EPA has created a fact sheet (PDF 1.5MB) and a poster (PDF 525KB) that explain how leaking underground petroleum storage systems affect our environment and what EPA is doing about it.

Under Victorian legislation and guidelines, owners and operators have responsibilities to properly manage their UPSSs to minimise the risks they pose.

What does the program involve?

This program is made up of three activities.

Encourage underground workers to report petroleum leaks to EPA

EPA has developed and distributed information to local councils, water corporations and utility companies to inform underground workers on when and how to report possible petroleum leaks they discover when working underground.

Promote compliance with EPA’s UPSS guideline

EPA has developed the Monitoring for leaks self-evaluation checklist and an associated summary report to:

Conduct follow-up activities to ensure UPSS sites are being properly managed

EPA will carry out follow-up activities, including phone calls, inspections, desktop assessments and site visits, for service stations across the state. These will check the accuracy of the information provided to EPA in the summary reports. They will also ensure UPSS owners and operators are regularly monitoring for leaks and properly acting on any indication of a possible leak.

UPSS owners and operators should note the following:

  • Owners and operators who do not submit a completed summary report will have their site/s prioritised for follow-up.
  • EPA will randomly select a number of sites for follow-up to verify the accuracy of the information provided in the summary reports.

What we are asking owners and operators to do
a) Download and complete the Monitoring for leaks checklist (Word 158KB) to keep for your records and to assist with completing the associated summary report.
b) After completing the checklist, complete and submit the summary report to EPA online. If you would like to complete a single report for multiple sites please use this form (Excel 229KB).

For further information on the program please review the questions and answers below.

Q&A about ‘UPSSs at Service Stations’ program + Expand all Collapse all

  • Do I have to complete the ‘Monitoring for leaks self-evaluation checklist’?

    EPA understands that some operators with multiple sites already have comprehensive systems in place for monitoring, tracking and recording their environmental performance.

    Completing the checklist will assist with completing the summary report. Provided the summary report that is submitted to EPA can be completed accurately, EPA understands that some operators may choose not to complete the checklist.

    However, if an operator chooses not to complete the checklist and an EPA officer inspects their site, they should still be prepared to readily answer the questions in the checklist and provide evidence for their answers.

  • When will follow-up activities begin?

    We will start follow-up activities in October 2016.

  • How will I know if I’m going to be inspected?

    If your site is selected for an inspection, an EPA officer will contact you, typically a week before the inspection, to arrange a time to meet you on the site.

  • What will happen during an inspection?

    When on site, the EPA officer will discuss the information in your summary report and will review aspects of your UPSS management as covered in the Monitoring for leaks self-evaluation checklist.

    The EPA officer will ask you to provide evidence to support your answers, such as statistical inventory reconciliation analysis (SIRA) results, groundwater monitoring results (if applicable) or results of equipment integrity testing (if applicable).

    For further information on the general process of an inspection please refer to EPA’s Authorised officers brochure (publication 1422).

  • I think I have a problem with my UPSS. Who can I speak to for advice?

    If you need technical advice or assistance to determine whether your UPSS is leaking, you could speak to a leak detection service provider or one of the industry associations below.

    If you think you have contamination on your site and would like advice on assessment and cleanup you should speak to a suitably qualified consultant.

    Industry association Contact
    Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Unit
    Ph: 03 9829 1111
    Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) Ph: 1300 160 270

Page last updated on 19 Oct 2016