Underground Petroleum Storage Systems

Underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS), or fuel tanks, are commonly found at service stations, but they can also be found where fuel is regularly used. This can include workshops, depots, vehicle dealerships, government facilities and rural properties. 

UPSS have the potential to leak fuel which can contaminate the surrounding land and aquifers. This creates a significant risk to human and environmental health and may also result in expensive, time consuming remediation works. Operators of an UPSS must have systems in place to prevent, report and fix leaks as they occur.

There has been recent changes to regulations for UPSS and Tamworth Regional Council is now the regulatory authority for systems in our local region.

Self Assessment Form

Leak Notification Form


Tamworth Regional Council is the regulatory authority for The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019. This legislation aims to minimise the risk to human and environmental health by requiring best practise design, installation, maintenance and monitoring of UPSS in New South Wales. Council’s Environmental Health Officers will work with UPSS operators to ensure any risks are mitigated and local environment is protected.

Please note that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the appropriate regulatory authority for UPSS sites that are:

• Operated by public authorities
• In the unincorporated areas of NSW
• Subject to an environmental protection license
• Subject to ongoing enforcement issued and regulated by the EPA


The person who has ‘management and control’ of the UPSS is the person responsible for the system. The person responsible is required to have correct procedures and systems in place to detect and manage any leaks as soon as possible. All procedures and systems in place must be documented in the Fuel System Operation Plan for the premises.

The person responsible for the UPSS has a legal duty to notify pollution incidents to Council immediately and provide a completed UPSS Leak Notification Form to Council within seven days of the initial notification.

Please be advised that it is against the law to allow, or ignore, contamination resulting from a mismanaged UPSS.

Leak Notification Form  


To assist UPSS operators Council has developed a self-evaluation form that allows operators to assess their compliance with the legislation. Using this form will increase the chances of identifying issues early and provides guidance on the taking the appropriate actions to mitigate any environmental problems.

Self Assessment Form

Further Information

For further assistance please contact Council’s Environmental Health Officers on 6767 5555

Further detailed information on the design, construction, operation, maintenance and monitoring of UPSS is available at:

• The EPA’s Guidelines for Implementing the Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulations 2019, which is available on the EPA’s website.
• Standards Australia, The design, Installation and Operation of Underground Petroleum Storage Systems AS4897-2008
• The industry associations, the Australian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA and the Motor Traders’ Association of NSW – Service Stations Association (MTA NSW – SSA), can provide their members with advice and guidance about their obligations regarding UPSS. Contact ACAPMA via its website (www.acapma.com.au) or phone (1300 160 270) or MTA NSW – SSA via its website (www.mtansw.com.au) or phone (9016 9000)
• The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019 www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2019/411