FAQ: Home Heating Oil Tanks
The Home Heating Oil Tanks -Regulatory Guide (Prepared by the Office of the Environmental Assistance Center) can be accessed and printed from the noted link and can also be obtained by contacting the Office of the Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278.
The most common question asked is "What do I do with a home heating oil tank, that is no longer used or has been found abandoned on my property?" The answer to this question is given below and it covers only HOME heating oil tanks. Businesses and commercial establishments with fuel tanks should contact the Storage Tank Division for their tank closure and disposal requirements.
Aboveground and underground residential heating oil tanks are regulated under the Flammable and Combustible Liquids (FL/CL) Rules, Part 4, 2003, AACS R29.5101 et seq. , which were promulgated under the authority of the Michigan Fire Prevention Code, 1941 PA 207, as amended.
Homeowners have the option of either doing the work themselves or hiring an environmental consultant to do the work of removing or closing the underground storage tanks or aboveground storage tanks. In the yellow pages of the telephone book under "Environmental and Ecological Services" are listed environmental consultants who can arrange the entire job of removing, cleaning, and disposing of the tank. The costs for such a project range widely, so the best solution is to call several consultants for estimates. By hiring an environmental consultant, the homeowner saves time and can hire an experienced consultant who does tank work routinely. Also, in the event that contamination has occurred as a result of leaking heating oil, the environmental consultant can advise the homeowner regarding the contamination.
The following steps are required for either underground or aboveground storage tanks that have been out of service for more than 12 months or will not be used again:
With both underground and aboveground storage tanks, if it appears a release of product occurred (dark stains in the soil, soils that smell oily or like gas, an oily sheen on water in the excavation), it is recommended that the homeowner or their designated representative report the release to the Remediation and Redevelopment Division. Moreover, if the release exceeds certain volume amounts known as reportable quantities (RQ), the owner is required to report the release within 24 hours from the time the release was discovered. Information on "reportable quantities" can be found at www.michigan.gov/deq. To assure compliance with all applicable regulations, it is highly recommended that the release be reported to the appropriate DEQ, Remediation and Redevelopment Division district office regardless of the quantity released. The Environmental Assistance Center, 800-662-9278, can identify the appropriate district office and phone number.