10 Things to Know About Oil Tanks

Residential and Commercial Property Concerns

1. We remove thousands of buried oil tanks every year and the data that we have collected indicates this one fact…that 50% of buried residential heating oil tanks leak.

2. There are no regulations requiring you to remove an in-service residential heating oil tank (in the State of Maryland, Commonwealth of Virginia, District of Columbia), unless there are indications that the tank is leaking.

3. Buyers of both commercial and residential properties are concerned that an underground tank may have or is leaking. Be selective about how you try to determine “leaking”. The only true way to know if a tank is leaking is to have it removed.

4. Buying or selling a property where an oil tank was removed or filled in place and no report with test results is available, does not provide legally defensible evidence that the tank did not lead. Whether you have a tank removed or abandoned-in-place, have a soil sample collected for the proper analysis.

5. In Maryland and Virginia, there are reimbursement programs for homeowners for leaking oil tanks. At this time, Pennsylvania’s program is not currently active.

6. Most insurance policies do not cover leaking tanks, unless there is a specific rider on the policy. There may be coverage for third party impacts that have resulted from a leaking tank.

7. Residential properties can be sold when a tank leaks, as long as the extent of the leak is evaluated, costs are developed to remediate the leak and both buyer and seller can agree on financial responsibility. However, as a general rule, most clean-up activities can be completed within 30 days. Although the sale may be help up for about one month, the back and forth negotiation for remediation escrow could take that long.

8. In Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, a Certified Tank Technician is required to conduct the removal.

9. Sometimes an additional permit is required by the County and/or locality, which may hold up the tank removal for up to two weeks.

10. The only true way to know if a tank is leaking is to have it removed.



For more information, call Ace Environmental at 410-354-8030 (local Baltimore, MD) or toll free at 866-750-4ACE.