The cost of regulations
MORE than $150,000 is a big price tag to put on updates to any small business.
But that sum is what Wooli Caltex Service Station owner Steve Parker forked out to bring his servo into line with new State Government regulations.
The regulations, which come into affect mid-next year, have already forced many owners of the Clarence’s smaller service stations to pull up their pumps.
Mr Parker wanted to inform owners, still unsure of what the regulations mean, of what actions they have to take. “I just want to make people aware of the extra expense they’ve got to pay to get up to scratch,” he said.
Over four weeks in December and January, Mr Parker closed his business to excavate the large concrete area surrounding his bowsers.
Underground, he had installed a new 20,000L fuel tank; four groundwater monitoring wells; new, double-walled fuel lines leading from his two bowsers to the fuel tank; and tanks underneath his bowsers.
Above ground, new ‘catch tanks’ were installed at the fill points. “If there’s any spillage from the truck driver it gets caught in the tank,” Mr Parker said.
Added to the expense of the work – totalling $150,000 – are the ongoing costs of the regulations.
Mr Parker said one requirement – the ‘loss monitoring procedures’ – meant service station owners/operators must perform daily dips on their fuel tanks, table-up the results on a spreadsheet and send the figures to an independent third party monthly – for which he has been quoted $30 per fuel product (e.g. unleaded) per month.
The same procedure also requires him to submit groundwater samples to an independent laboratory to be tested – at a cost of $300, three times a year.