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Administered by: Environment
Published Date 02 Feb 2015

 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY, ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION BRANCH,

DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

NOTICE UNDER SECTION 17A OF THE FUEL QUALITY STANDARDS ACT 2000 CONCERNING A DECISION UNDER SECTION 13 OF THAT ACT FOR AN APPROVAL FOR A VARIATION OF THE FUEL STANDARD (PETROL) DETERMINATION 2001

I, Andrew McNee, Assistant Secretary, Environment Protection Branch, delegate of the Minister for the Environment, provide the following information concerning my decision to grant an approval under section 13 of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000.

Name of approval holder

BP Australia Pty Ltd.

Period of operation

The period of operation of the approval is from 1 January 2015 for two years.

Details of the approval

The approval varies the fuel standard for petrol set out in the Fuel Standard (Petrol) Determination 2001 (the Petrol Determination) so that:

1.    specialist leaded racing fuel containing any of the following parameters:

·         Lead up to 0.85 g/L

·         Sulfur up to 500 mg/kg

will be taken to comply with the relevant parameters specified in the Petrol Determination in respect of the supply of the fuel for use in legitimate motor sport activities.

The approval applies to petrol supplied by the approval holder and regulated persons specified in Annexure 1 of the instrument, and is granted subject to conditions specified in section 17 of the Act and in Annexure 2 of the approval.

Summary of reasons for the approval

I grant the approval as provided for in section 15 of the Act for the following reasons:    

(a)          The protection of the environment

The fuel subject to this recommendation is supplied and used in small quantities for motor sport activities. It is uncertain to what extent lead in the fuel may affect the environment.

The consequences of even a small amount of MTBE contaminating water sources can be significant. It is a standard condition of section 13 approvals for fuel containing MTBE above the limit specified in the petrol standard that the fuel not be permitted in activities occurring on freshwater lakes and waterways.

The fuel is expensive compared with normal fuels and the price provides a disincentive for any waste, misuse or spillage.

It is therefore not expected that permitting the supply of the fuels covered by this approval for motor sport activities will have an irreversible effect on the environment.

 (b)         The protection of occupational and public health and safety

Exposure to certain substances in petrol can be toxic. The risks associated with exposure to racing fuels may be higher than for petrol because of the additional substances contained in them. A variety of negative health effects can occur, depending upon the substance, the level and duration of exposure. At venues that use racing fuels, exposure may extend to drivers, team members, race officials, spectators and the immediate environment.

In the particular case of leaded racing fuels, exposure to even small amounts of lead and lead compounds can have health effects when ingested or inhaled.

Specialist leaded and unleaded racing fuels are supplied in sealed containers of up to 200 litres capacity (except for use in pre-1986 built racing vehicles which may be dispensed from a bowser) and are used in small quantities, primarily in off-road activities, and in widely dispersed locations. Safe handling information will be provided with the fuel. The volume of fuel to be supplied under an approval is limited and will be used by a small number of competitors. Under these conditions, occupational and public health and safety risks resulting from short-term/intermittent use of these fuels will be minimised.

(c)           The interests of consumers

Specialist leaded and unleaded racing fuels meet the needs of a niche market for specific classes of motor racing. The consumers using these fuels seek the performance and operability characteristics provided by these fuels. Without them, motor sport competitors may not be able to operate their vehicles effectively with currently employed technology.

(d)          The impact on economic and regional development

Many racing venues are located outside major population areas. Motor and water sport events provide an ongoing financial benefit to these regional communities. A decision to disallow the continued and controlled supply of specialist leaded racing fuels suddenly may have an adverse impact on national motor sport competitions and the economic benefits that flow from them.

 

Andrew McNee

Assistant Secretary

5  December 2014