Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Underground Oil Storage Tanks
- Oil remaining inside the tank must be pumped out and taken to a recycling or disposal facility.
- The tank must be removed together with all connecting piping and dispensers.
- The soil must be assessed for contamination. If contamination is present, soil and groundwater must be properly remediated, which may include complete overhaul and removal.
- The property owner must get a letter from the removal company detailing the removal process, what was pumped out of the tank, its quantity, a receipt from the facility where the tank was taken to and the amount of dirt brought in. Photos must also be included.
Following are typical situations that affect dealings with properties containing underground storage tanks as affected by British Columbia Law:
- There is a home for sale. Both Buyer and Seller are aware of the existence of an underground oil storage tank. The Buyer agrees to buy the property 'as is'. Who is liable for the tank removal ? The property owner (Seller) is responsible for the tank removal.
- Both Buyer and Seller know about the tank. The Buyer says the law requires the Seller to remove it. What happens if the Buyer reports it ? As the property owner is responsible for removing the tank, City Hall would respond by sending a letter outlining time periods for removal. Failure to comply would result in the prosecution of the property owner.
- A property contains an underground storage tank decommissioned ten years ago in compliance with the law at that time, which required homeowners to remove contents and fill it with sand. How does the current law affect the property now ? The tank must meet current by-laws requirements, which means it must be removed from the ground.
- What happens if a property owner is demolishing a house and finds a tank ? The tanks must meet current by-laws requirements, which means it must be removed.
Real Estate Chronicle