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OIL STORAGE TANKS - home
ABANDONING OIL TANKS
ABOVE GROUND OIL TANK (AST) GUIDE
BURIED OIL TANK (UST) GUIDE
HEATING OIL TYPES & PROPERTIES - home
HOME BUYERS GUIDE TO OIL TANKS
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
OIL TANK ABANDONING PROCEDURE
OIL TANK INSPECTION & TROUBLESHOOTING
OIL TANK LEAKS & SMELLS
OIL TANK PIPING & PIPING DEFECTS
OIL TANK REGULATIONS
OIL TANK REMOVAL COs
OIL TANK SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
OIL TANK LEAK TEST METHODS
OIL TANK TESTING & REMOVAL COs
OIL TANK WATER CONTAMINATION
This document explains (and expands on) the US EPA detailed suggestions on how to properly "abandon" or close an underground petroleum storage tank in place, that is, without having to excavate and remove it. This procedure is permitted if tests show that the tank has not leaked, and it can save a significant amount of the cost of oil tank removal and site repair to fill in the hole left behind. We have made minor edits to the original document for clarity and we include links to additional and more detailed information about oil storage tanks and other environmental concerns.
Here are the U.S. EPA Recommendations for Temporary or Permanent Abandonment of Underground Oil Storage Tanks with additional text and illustrations by InspectAPedia.com.
Proper oil storage tank abandonment requires the use of good engineering practices, including consideration of the future condition of the tank. While the original of this article focused on commercial oil storage tanks, the concerns and steps should be examined by those abandoning residential oil tanks as well.
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You can close your UST [underground oil storage tank or other underground storage tanks such as for farm diesel fuel or other liquids]] temporarily or permanently. In either case, [oil or diesel storage] tanks must be closed properly.
Image at left provided courtesy Carson Dunlop Associates.
[Failure to properly close a storage tank risks:
How do you Close an Oil Storage Tank TemporarilyYou may temporarily close your UST for up to 12 months by following these requirements for temporary closure:
After 12 months of temporary closure of an oil storage tank, you have three options:
EPA's choices are:]
How do I Close an Oil Storage Tank PermanentlyIf you decide to close your UST permanently, follow these requirements for permanent closure:
Safe Closure Is A Must
People who do not follow standard safety practices are killed or injured every year while closing or removing tanks. For a safe closure, you need qualified professionals who will use standard safety practices.
[DF: in addition to EPA's serious safety warning just above we add this property resale and contamination warning: we also have encountered "do it yourself" oil tank removal cases which prevented the owner from selling their home due to either an actual oil leak contamination of soils or the inability to document a proper oil tank removal.]
For more information on standard safety practices, UST owners and closure contractors should refer to "Closure of Underground Petroleum Storage Tanks," API Recommended Practice 1604 (1996), which is available from the American Petroleum Institute, 1220 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005, or call (202) 682-8000 for assistance. You can also visit API's Web site.
The video and companion booklet called "Tank Closure Without Tears: An Inspector's Safety Guide" are available from the New England Interstate Environmental Training Center at (978) 323-7929. You can also visit NEIWPCC's Web site.
Regulations addressing reporting of oil tank leaks and oil tank abandonment of oil tanks written various state and federal authorities are discussed in more detail at OIL TANK REGULATIONS - "Buried Tank and Above Ground Oil Tank Leak Reporting & Tank Abandonment Regulations"
Be sure to review the details on oil tank abandonment procedures at
Be SURE that the tank filler and vent are totally removed lest you get an un-wanted oil delivery. Don't laugh, it happens.
Continue reading at ABANDONING OIL TANKS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Contents of this individual web page are derived from the US EPA document cited at Technical Reviewers above.