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On-Ground Plastic Tanks

Should I use a plastic tank for the storage of diesel?

Careful consideration should be given before purchasing and installing a plastic tank for the storage of diesel fuel. The location, the tank size and bunding are critical.

The WA Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations has listed Australia Standard AS1940, The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids, as an approved code of practice. This means compliance with the standard is compulsory.


The following documents have some additional information on the subject:


AS 1940

AS1940 Clause 2.2.5.2 - Polyethylene or composite storage tanks for minor storage

This clause specifies requirements for the storage of combustible liquids within above-ground polyethylene or composite storage tanks. The tank must be rotationally moulded in a one-piece seamless construction in accordance with AS/NZS4766.

The maximum capacity of such tanks shall not exceed 10,000 litres!

Polyethylene or composite storage tanks may only be used on open land, land that is used for agriculture, horticulture, pastoral or golf courses and national park. The property must be greater than 2 hectares.


WA Dangerous Good Regulations

Regulation 6 indicates storage systems over 1000 litre must comply with the Regulations and it is an offence not to comply

Regulation 58 Storage and handling systems design etc. of.

An operator of a dangerous goods site must ensure that storage or handling systems at the site have been designed, built, installed, commissioned, maintained, and isolated by means of distance or barriers so that, as far as is reasonably practicable, they can be operated with minimal risk to property people and the environment.


The penalty for non-compliance is a level 1 fine, $10k to the individual $50k to a company.


Regulation 13 Prohibitions on supply.

(2) A person must not supply dangerous goods if the person has reasonable grounds to suspect that: a) the condition and packaging of the dangerous goods does not comply with the provisions of the ADG Code; or

(b) the labelling of the dangerous goods does not comply with the labelling requirements; or

(c) the container into which the dangerous goods are to be supplied is leaking, or will leak.


WA Dangerous Goods Act

Part 2 — General duties as to dangerous goods

8. Duty to minimise risk from dangerous goods

(1) A person who is involved directly or indirectly in storing, handling or transporting dangerous goods must take all reasonably practicable measures to minimise the risk to people, property and the environment from the goods.


Penalty: (a) for an individual, $100 000 or imprisonment for 4 years or both;

(b) for a body corporate, $500 000.

A “plastic” tank that does not comply with AS1940 Clause 2.2.5.2 is in breach of the Act and Regulations.


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