Aboveground and underground heating oil or fuel storage tanks that are no longer in use can pose problems for property owners and the environment. Property owners are required by law to remove a tank if it has not been in service over a two year period. Although most tanks will last for years without corroding, this is dependent upon the surrounding soil conditions, as well as the thickness of the tank walls.
If a leak does occur from a tank, serious problems may arise, such as contamination of soil and/or groundwater on a property and/or surrounding properties, contamination of surface waters, and noxious vapour build-up in or under buildings. A leaking tank that causes contamination is a liability to property owners. Because of this potential liability, many financial institutions and buyers require decommissioning of unused tanks before a real estate transaction is completed.
In some cases, previously unknown and unused heating oil tanks are discovered during property assessment and investigation, thereby becoming a potential environmental liability. It is in a property owner’s best interest to remove and decommission any unused heating oil and/or fuel storage tanks as quickly as possible.
Tank Removal Regulations
Given the potential risk to health and the environment, and the associated liability to property owners, removal of underground fuel storage tanks is highly regulated. The Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) for the Province of Ontario regulates transportation, storage, handling and use of fuels to ensure conformance with the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000 (TSSA Act 2000).
Fuel storage tank removals must be completed by a qualified Licensed Petroleum Contractor whose personnel are licensed in compliance with the TSSA Act, 2000 and who work in accordance with applicable Regulations, Codes and Standards.
Following removal of a fuel tank, an environmental assessment report must be completed in accordance with the requirements specified in the TSSA Fuels Safety Division Liquid Fuels Handling Code and “Environmental Protocols for Operating Fuel Handling Facilities in Ontario” and signed by a Qualified Person (e.g. Professional Engineer or Geoscientist). If contamination is discovered upon tank removal, remediation must be completed in accordance with O. Reg. 341 and O. Reg. 153.
Comco Canada Ltd. is a licensed registered Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) Petroleum Contractor and a founding member of the Ontario Petroleum Contractors Association (OPCA). Comco Canada Ltd. is certified to transport, handle, install and remove/decommission any type of fuel storage tank in the Province of Ontario, in accordance with all government regulations.
Our team of Petroleum Mechanics, Environmental Professionals and Technicians are fully qualified and take pride in their work and in their knowledge of current regulations and safety issues involved in both tank installation and in tank removal and decommissioning.
Comco Canada Ltd. has been a leader in the installation and/or removal of fuel storage tanks and associated piping since 1964. Our many years of experience covers residential fuel oil tanks, commercial filling stations, and automotive service centres, as well as fleet fuelling systems. A comprehensive Tank Decommissioning Report is generated with each tank removal, with copies forwarded to all required regulatory bodies. Comco Canada Ltd. has the ability to provide tank decommissioning services, environmental assessment reporting, and remediation (if needed) using our own equipment and manpower, thereby having control over the quality of service as well as overall costs to our clients.