Top Ten Facts

  • Above ground Heating Oil Tanks that are located in a basement, garage or crawl space and are no longer in use, should be removed as soon as possible. Many times homeowners convert to natural gas or propane heating and don't take the nessesary step to remove an old heating oil tank. The chances these tanks will ever be needed again is practically zero. These tanks are more prone to condensation and corrosion due to non use, they present a constant danger to eventually leak, will remain a fire hazard due to remaining oil and sludge on the bottom even if they are so called "empty" and Homeowners Insurance Companies typically make their removal a requirement. Why not benefit from the extra space from removing them too!

  • Buyers of residential properties should be concerned if an underground tank is present, has leaked or is leaking.  This concern can be addressed if soil testing is performed under a tank when removed to confirm that no leak had occurred or with soil bore testing in advance of a removal or abandonment. Without independent testing, one can not assume that a Tank is not currently leaking or a Leak had not previously occured. 

  • If you are selling a property where an Oil Tank is present, saving money by hiring someone who has "removed tanks for years" but does not comply with the State of Connecticut requirements, may not be a wise decision. Test Results and a full Closure Report needs to be produced from a Licensed and Certified Tank Removal Company. Otherwise adequate evidence can not be provided for you as the owner or a future Buyer, that the proper procedures were followed. A complete report with a Certification Letter also allows the buyer to resell the property without future problems. Hire a licensed Oil Tank Removal company with all of the proper certifications from the start to avoid problems. The State of Connecticut through the Department of Consumer Protection requires all of the following for Underground Storage Tank Removal and it is your responcibility as an owner to hire a contractor that has passed and retains all of these requirements and certifications to be compliant and capable of providing a legitimate report; (see below wording in italics - verbatum). 

    Department of Consumer Protection
    ..."Contractors must provide evidence of liability insurance coverage of one million dollars ($1,000,000) and show evidence of completion of a 40-hour Hazardous Materials Incident Responce Operations (HAZWOPER) course and eight (8) hours of health and safety training --29 CFR 1910.120(e), and passage of the International Code Council Decommissioning Exam".

  • In Connecticut, Grants and low interest rate loans are no longer available to reimburse homeowner’s for leaking oil tanks. This program which covered underground storage tanks (UST) and was known as the Residential Amnesty Program (RAP) ended in 2001 with the Connecticut Legislature not making any provisions to extend or adopt any other assistance for a Connecticut homeowner. 

  • Remember, it's not whether a tank leaks NOW it's a matter of WHEN it will leak. Both above and below ground heating oil tanks WILL eventually leak due to air moisture, condensation, corrosion, errosion and the laws of nature. Be proactive. Replace or Remove that older tank BEFORE there is a major problem.

  • When an underground tank has leaked, many homeowner’s insurance policies provide limited coverage or no coverage at all for the cleanup. A policy likely contains a "pollution exclusion" clause which typically does not cover any cost or damage from a leaking oil tank. A separate Oil Tank Insurance policy may be needed and usually has several requirements and stipulations in order to obtain coverage.

  • When homeowner’s insurance does not cover a leaking tank, the homeowner is at risk for being responcible for the entire cost. If acting as a Realtor or Attorney and your client has an underground oil tank, they should be advised to have the tank removed and replaced with an above ground tank. If your client has an underground or above ground tank not in use, make it a priority to have it removed without delay.

  • In most cases, residential properties can be sold if a tank has leaked as long as the extent of the leak is determined, costs are estimated to remediate the site and both the buyer and seller can agree on financial responsibility.

  • Underground Oil Tanks that have limited access for heavy equipment, are located under an addition or present a danger to the structure or surrondings to remove, can sometimes be abandoned in place. Soil Test borings could be performed in advance, the tank would be completely evacuated, washed and cleaned in place, core samples bored through the Tank bottom, then the Tank would be filled with a slurry type of material known as "flowable fill". This procedure should be used in very limited circumstances and typically requires Fire Marshal approval. In the event an "Abandonment in place" is the best and/or only option, we do not recommend filling the Tank with sand or tripolymer foam. Sand will absorb water and turn to mud and injected foam will not be able to withstand concentrated weight as the Tank weakens with age.

    10. 'Tanks Be Gone' retains complete electronic records of all Underground Oil Tank removals so call 'Tanks Be Gone' and be done!  203-777-2122

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