Who is responsible for soil and groundwater contamination caused by a leaking oil tank?
It does not matter whether the leakage occurred before or during your ownership and occupancy. Under both state and federal law, you, the homeowner, are the responsible party. You may be able to seek reimbursement for the costs of cleaning up soil or groundwater contamination from previous owners.
If you sell your home with an underground storage tank in place, whether or not it has been decommissioned, the discovery of contamination in the future may result in an environmental contamination claim being made against you.
What am I required to do about the unused heating oil tank in my backyard?
The Uniform Fire Code of Washington presently requires the decommissioning of any abandoned underground storage tank (UST) that is unused for one year or more. As the homeowner, you may be liable for any damage caused by a leaking underground oil tank under the Model Toxics Control Act.
Numerous issues can arise if a UST is left to rust. The Department of Ecology recommends decommissioning any unused UST to eliminate any possibility of future leakage. Keeping with our standards of quality and service, Budget Tank Removal Services maintains up-to-date information regarding UST and cleanup regulations.