Motivating fuel retailers to take preventative action

Leaks from underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) can have significant impacts on people, property and the environment. To address this risk, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) developed a project focusing on fuel retailers and franchisees.

The challenge:
Encourage fuel retailers to adopt behaviours likely to prevent or mitigate risk
Environment Protection Authority Vic

What did we do?

Using a combination of behaviourally-informed communication tools and a self-assessment checklist, the team sought to motivate retailers to manage their UPSS adequately and adopt behaviours likely to prevent or mitigate risk.

What did we find?

The project focused on raising awareness of the environmental, health and financial risks of poorly managed UPSS, improving the understanding of retailers’ management obligations, facilitating opportunities for them to access guidance and advice and increase the perceived likelihood of detection and enforcement.


The project led to substantial improvements (over 20 per cent in some measures) in fuel retailers’ attitudes and beliefs towards their obligations.

The high (90%) voluntary self-reporting rate and positive attitude improvements suggested that most of the retailers now had an appreciation of their obligations and expected preventative practices.

Compliance checks conducted by EPA identified a small proportion of mistaken or inaccurate reporting.

However, more than 200 retailers in their self-assessment responses committed to improving their UPSS management after finding themselves to be non-compliant with the guidelines.

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