Above ground oil tank leak (C) Carson Dunlop AssociatesResidential Oil Tank Leak Reporting Requirements
Bulk Oil Storage Tanks - tank size & leak reporting requirements

  • OIL TANK LEAK & SIZE REPORTING - CONTENTS: What to do about onsite residential oil storage tanks, buried oil tanks (USTs) and above ground oil tanks (ASTs)Oil Tank Leak reporting requirements - the basics for home owners or oil tank inspectors; At what size must an oil storage tank be reported to state regulating authorities? Reporting oil tanks larger than 1100 gallons?
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about reporting the present of oil storage tanks at a property
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Oil tank leak reporting laws & laws requiring reporting the presence of an oil storage tank:

Home heating oil bulk storage - petroleum oil storage tanks, regulations, issues, requirements for reporting the presence of an oil storage tank at a property.

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Reporting Requirements on the Discovery of Leaking Residential and Other Oil Storage Tanks

Leaky oil tank (C) Daniel FriedmanIn this document, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation informs home inspectors of their reporting requirements when an oil tank is observed to be leaking. T

his information was presented to the New York Metro ASHI Chapter Seminar (American Society of Home Inspectors) in May, 1993 by Jacqueline Sibblies, a chemical engineer with the NYS DEC Offered a slide presentation on "Petroleum Bulk Storage" at the April NY Metro ASHI Educational session. Edits and illustrations by

Sketch at page top courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

[Click to enlarge any image]

This article deals primarily with bulk fuel storage tanks that are larger than 1,100 gallons. Such tanks fall under the NYS Petroleum Bulk Storage Law. However, much of what was covered had implications for home inspectors.

According to Ms. Sibblies, leaking petroleum storage tanks are a major source of groundwater contamination. Fuel leaking from damaged tanks can seep through the ground, get into an aquifer, and contaminate a water supply, causing wells to be shut down.

The DEC estimates that there may be as many as 160,000 tanks in New York State storing petroleum and subject to DEC regulations. Many of these tanks were installed underground in the 1950's and 1960's, and are bare steel. DEC authorities and other experts believe that many have become weakened by rust and have a 50% chance of developing leaks.

When inspecting a house, if the tank is larger than 1,100 gallons, the buyer should be advised that the DEC requires registration and periodic testing of such tanks and their piping. Inspectors should advise their clients that tank testing should be performed by the present owner and results be made available to the buyers.

It is prudent to advise buyers to have even smaller tanks tested, even though it is not a requirement. If there is room in the basement or garage, it would be wise to recommend that the existing tank be deactivated and a new tank be installed indoors.

If leakage is detected during a home inspection, it should be reported within two hours to the DEC. The toll-free, Spill Hotline number is 800-457-7362.

Free publications dealing with this topic are available from the DEC. For a list of such publications call the NYS DEC help line at 800-242-4351.


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