Practical Environmental Solutions, P.C.Practical Environmental Solutions, P.C.
Serving Wilmington and Southeastern North Carolina 910.790.8265 FAQ | About PES | Home

Facts About Tanks:

  • Most homes built before 1975 used an underground tank to store heating oil. 
  • 88% of underground oil tank have leaked requiring cleanup of contaminated soil and possibly groundwater.  (This also applies to underground oil tanks still in-use.)  
  • 12% of underground oil tanks have leaked significantly for fuel to be measured floating on the water table.  As much as 4 feet has been measured at a residential property in the Wilmington area. 
  • State and Federal laws require cleanup of contamination caused by a leaking oil tank.  State and Federal laws do not require tank removal for tanks that have not leaked. 
  • A Property Seller is not released from tank responsibility and associated contamination simply by selling the property. 
  • A Property Buyer may become legally responsible for an oil tank and contamination for underground tanks located on the bought property even if they never used the tank. 
  • Buyers are becoming increasingly aware of the legal liability associated with heating oil contamination.  This could affect the market value of your house and may make your house more difficult to sell.  Proper tank removal and contamination cleanup may be the only way to end your legal liability associated with your heating oil tank. 
  • Currently, the State of North Carolina has a Trust Fund available to reimburse most costs for the required investigation and cleanup of contamination from underground heating oil tanks.  (The cost to pump and to remove the buried oil tank is not covered by the Trust Fund.  PES provides free tank removal estimates.)
  • A typical heating oil tank investigation and cleanup can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000.  PES can help you access the Trust Fund to eliminate the environmental hazard and restore the full market value to your property. 
  • Filling a tank with sand or concrete does not end the responsibility for contamination already leaked.  This is wasted money. 
  • PES will furnish you and the State with reports documenting your compliance with all applicable State regulations and statutes. 
  • Trust Fund coverage may not continue to be as complete as it is today.  Acting now may cost less than waiting 5-10 years to act when circumstances may force you to remove the tank and conduct the required investigation and cleanup.
  • You may be the only person who can qualify for the Trust Fund $0 deductible.  Future property owners, including your heirs, may have to pay a $5000 deductible.  Acting now may save your heirs this expense and may protect your property value.
  • Until it is properly removed, your oil tank will continue to corrode and may cause a soil or groundwater contamination problem, even if none exists today.  A smaller contamination problem is easier to cleanup than a larger one.
  • Even if your heating oil tank never leaked, you may need a Tank Closure Report to show potential buyers that there is no heating oil contamination on the property.
  • A proper tank closure and the required soil samples must be supervised by a licensed professional.

Note:  PES cannot guarantee your Trust Fund eligibility status.  The State of North Carolina UST Section makes the final decision regarding Trust Fund eligibility.  The information in this document is based on current State regulations and policies, which are subject to change.  This document provides general information and is not intended to be a contract or agreement between PES and any party, nor is this a guarantee of actual cost.

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