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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 (UPSS).

UPSS at service stations are one of the most common sources of both land and groundwater contamination. UPSS 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.

About the UPSS program

The UPSS program aims to support service station operators to manage their UPSS via:

  • the UPSS flipchart (publication 1670)
  • site inspections conducted between March – May 2018 with co-regulators i.e. WorkSafe
  • distribution of a 'monitoring for leaks' self-evaluation checklist and an associated summary report to:

About the UPSS flipchart

EPA has distributed a free guide (publication 1670) to approximately 1400 service stations across the state.

Designed to help UPSS operators protect the environment and ensure public safety, this free UPSS guide in the form of a flipchart explains the best ways to prevent and manage leaks and spills, as well as avoid other hazards. Under Victorian legislation and guidelines, owners and operators have responsibilities to properly manage their UPSS to minimise the risks they pose.

EPA Victoria gratefully acknowledges the support of the NSW Environment Protection Authority to produce the UPSS flipchart, as well as the assistance of various Victorian industry members.

EPA has also created a fact sheet (publication 1638) and a poster (PDF 525KB) that explain how leaking UPSS affect our environment and what EPA is doing about it.

What site operators and owners can expect from EPA

UPSS owners and operators should consider compliance with Victorian legislation and guidelines to be a high and immediate priority.

EPA plans to:

  • continue to conduct inspections to confirm UPSS management compliance
  • follow up on the easy-to-follow UPSS flipchart guidance 
  • send out a follow-up self-evaluation checklist.

For technical advice or help to determine whether your UPSS is leaking, speak to a leak detection service provider or your industry associations:

  • Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) on 03 9829 1111
  • Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) on on 1300 160 270.

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.

To receive communications from EPA on UPSS we recommend you subscribe to EPA’s quarterly newsletter or contact your industry association representative.

How to complete a self-evaluation and summary report

a) Download and complete the Monitoring for leaks checklist (Word 158KB) to help with completing the summary report. Keep this checklist for your records.

b) After completing the checklist, complete and submit a summary report to EPA.

You can either:



Email: upss@epa.vic.gov.au

Mail: EPA Victoria
GPO Box 4395
Melbourne VIC 3001

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

The checklist will help with completing the summary report which EPA uses to determine how best to support industry. We understand 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.

How operators can prepare for an EPA inspection

Have your relevant records available onsite.

If necessary, seek help to understand and comply with the guidelines.

If you are not a member of an industry association but would like more information about the UPSS management services they provide, we suggest you contact:

  • Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) on 03 9829 1111
  • Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) on on 1300 160 270.

What happens during a UPSS inspection

EPA authorised officers will conduct a physical inspection of your site and examine your UPSS documentation. Have your relevant records available onsite including but not limited to the following:

  • Proof of ownership and occupation of both the site and the UPSS/s. 
  • Site plans with details of location of UPSS infrastructure: tanks, pipes, fill parts. 
  • Evidence of age of UPSS.
  • Evidence to confirm the leak detection system is rated to detect a release of 0.76 L/hour (or 18 L/day) with greater than 95 per cent confidence (and less than 5 per cent false positive). 
  • Leak Detection (e.g. SIRA) reports for the last 12 months. 
  • Evidence to show any potential leaks identified through leak detection monitoring over the past 12 months were investigated. 
  • Evidence to show any verified leaks were stopped and cleaned up so as to mitigate threats to people, property and the environment. 
  • Documented evidence of site sensitivity classification. 
  • Details of any groundwater monitoring wells on site including installation reports (if applicable). 
  • Details of Tank Pit Observation Wells and monitoring results.
  • Any groundwater quality monitoring procedures and results (if a sensitive site). 
  • Results of any equipment integrity testing (if applicable). 
  • Evidence of UPSS repairs or replacement (if applicable). 

Read next

EPA's programs and projects

EPA's past programs and projects

Guidance for UPSS


This page was copied from EPA's old website. It was last updated on 23 August 2019.

Reviewed 3 February 2022