Contaminated Sites – Liability from Oil Tank Leaks

Underground Storage TankNot too long ago, a leak in a heating oil tank leak resulted in the destruction of one Ottawa woman’s home and soil remediation costs were in excess of $1 million: “A few months ago, the heat in Command's home stopped working. She learned her oil-heating tank had a leak and the oil inside had seeped into the ground, contaminating her property. That left her with a massive spill, expected to cost more than $1 million to clean up. Command has liability insurance so the clean up expenses will be covered, but she expects to pay more than $100,000 in additional costs.” (CBC News Ottawa, March 11, 2011)

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) Section 7.(1)(a) stipulates that a fuel distributor must confirm that a tank system or container has been inspected at least once in the previous ten years before supplying fuel . Beyond that, however, the TSSA says that it is the homeowners’ responsibility to maintain their tanks.

One inspector whose relatives experienced a near-miss with a leaking oil tank states, “One litre of fuel oil can contaminate one million litres of drinking water.” Quoting from a 2002 Environmental Science & Engineering article, he adds, "Nearly 40% of all fuel leaks reported to local and provincial ministries of environment are from domestic, heating oil storage tanks in private homes. . . . claims paid for clean-up as a result of leaks from heating oil systems account for 5% of all claims paid under homeowners' policies.”

The problems with oil spills since then, both commercial and residential, have only worsened. That’s where FERRO's experience and exptertise enters . FERRO is an industry leader in soil remediation, using the latest techniques in treatment methods, from excavation to soil washing to chemical, thermal or biological decomposition. Our team of environmental contracting professionals is standing by - if you have any questions, need a problem solved or have an emergency, the FERRO C.R.A.S.H. Team is available 24/7 at 1877-429-7760.

Please view the latest edition of FERRO's digital flip book HERE for a brief overview of how the various areas of expertise and services can benefit you.

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