FAQs

Should you tell buyers about your home heating oil tank?

The State of North Carolina Residential Property Disclosure Statement (Item 14) requires property owners to disclose “Environmental Hazards” such as underground storage tanks (USTs), prior to selling a property.

Are you required to remove your home heating oil tank?

You are not required to remove your home heating oil tank if it has not leaked; however, a petroleum leak from any UST is regulated by NCDEQ and action is required.

Why is it important as a property owner to know if a tank on your property leaked?

According to North Carolina general statutes you may still be the owner of a tank even after you sold the property; therefore, you could be liable for a tank that started leaking after you sold the property. Therefore, it is recommended to landowners to at least determine if a tank did or did not leak prior to a sale of property.

Why is it important as a buyer to know if a tank on a property leaked?

A leaking UST can be a financial liability. The liability of the UST can transfer to you with the sale of property unless provisions are made. Therefore, it is important to determine the financial liabilities associated with a UST prior to purchasing property.

Who is considered the UST owner?

According NCDEQ the “statutory tank owner” is responsible for the release from the tank. The “statutory tank owner” is determined by the date the tank was last used. If it was last used before November 8, 1984 then the last party who used that UST is considered the tank owner (even if that party no longer owns the property). However, if that tank was used on or after November 8, 1984, anyone that owned the property would be considered the tank owner even if that person never used it.

How do you determine if a tank leaked?

Most of the time total petroleum hydrocarbon analysis of a sample strategically collected beneath the tank will indicate if a tank has leaked. The cost to inspect a UST ranges from $150 to $250 depending on location and urgency. Call Cohesion for an estimate.

What if the tank did not leak?

Although the removal of a UST is not required, in most cases it is recommended. If the UST did not leak and is not removed, Cohesion recommends pumping and properly disposing all fluids from the tank to protect the UST from future leakage. Keep all documentation indicating tank status and fluid disposal information with the property records.

What if the tank leaked?

According to NCDEQ’s rules and regulations, a leak must be reported within twenty-four hours to NCDEQ. Violation of this regulation is punishable by law with fines up to $10,000 per day. A leaking UST is subject to additional federal and state regulations requiring assessment and cleanup. We recommend calling Cohesion for advice and guidance. All client and property information is kept confidential.

Is there any reimbursement for cleanup costs?

No, as of October 1, 2015 there is no longer a non-commercial UST TrustFund to help with cleanup costs.

Why use professional environmental services?

When a property is petroleum contaminated, several rules and regulations apply to that property. Failure to properly follow applicable regulations and procedures may result in fines and penalties.  Cohesion has the experience and environmental knowledge necessary to help you comply with the rules and regulations.

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