Furnaces that are presently fuelled, or were fuelled in the past, by oil
require(d) an oil storage tank. These tanks were generally located above ground, in
basement areas, or buried outside near foundation walls. If tanks are present there is
potential for from the tanks themselves or from associated piping. Buried tanks were used
largely in industrial or commercial buildings. However, many larger residential buildings
also used underground storage tanks for oil storage. Any buried fuel oil tanks not in use
are required to be removed by law. These ranks may pose potentially large and costly
environmental problems and represent a large potential liability for owners and
As a licensed
and responsible professional you must be aware of and identify the presence or absence of
these materials when dealing with building retrofits. Failure to advise your client(s) or
contractors working on a project of the presence of hazardous materials in and/or on a
property may present you with potential future liabilities. It is your obligation to
protect the interests of your client(s), the health and safety of workers, and the natural
Environmental Contractors will arrange an independent consultant for hazardous materials
and other potential environmental concerns on residential, commercial and industrial
properties. Each assessment includes sampling of all suspected hazardous materials,
confirmatory laboratory analysis and complete reporting of all findings. We can also
complete specifications and tender packages for any required remedial activities and
perform project management services.
All environmental consultants and environmental engineers are licensed, have
errors and omissions insurance and pollution, asbestos and environmental coverage.
CAN YOUR COMPANY AFFORD $100,000 FOR FINES ASSOCIATED WITH
UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS?
Many property owners, managers and corporate executives are unaware of a very
large potential liability. That being the liability resulting from problems with Underground Storage Tank (UST) and Aboveground Storage Tank (AST)
systems. These types of systems were and are commonly used in the storage of fuels such as
gasoline and heating fuel oil as well as chemical and waste material storage.
potential liability becomes a reality when these systems develop leakage problems. Such
leakage causes immediate contamination of surrounding soild and may even cause fires or
explosions. If undiscovered extensive soil contamination may result as well as groundwater
contamination and contamination of adjacent properties. These scenarios may result in
personal fines and possible jail terms for responsible individuals as well as corporate
fines, not to mention the costs for clean-up.
laws in Ontario governing USTs and ASTs consists of two (2) pieces of legislation. These
The Gasoline Handling Act - Gasoline Handling
Code; deals with gasoline storage and handling at facilities such as service stations,
bulk plants, and refineries.
The Energy Act - Fuel Oil Code;
deals with fuel oil storage and handling.
GASOLINE HANDLING CODE
The Gasoline Handling Code specifies site clean-up in accordance with
reference publication GH13, Interim Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of
Petroleum Contaminated Sites in Ontario, August 1993.
installed prior to 1974, measures such as catholic protection, fill pipe protection and
installation of permanent groundwater monitoring wells must be taken before December 31,
- immediate removal of all leaking
underground tank storage systems and, within 180 days, removal of associated tanks;
- periodic internal inspection of above
ground fuel storage tanks (ASTs) and, if tanks are found unacceptable, immediate removal
of product from the tanks;
- depending on the age and nature of
underground used oil tanks, the tanks must be either upgraded or removed;
- for USTs in disuse for over 1 year, or
for ASTs in disuse for over 3 years, the tank(s) shall be removed with notification to
appropriate regulatory bodies, and a site report prepared by an engineer or geologist
identifying the extent of surface and subsurface contamination with recommendations for
facilities which are to closed permanently, all equipment is to be removed within 90 days
and a site report is to be prepared by an engineer or geologist.
FUEL OIL CODE
The owner of a supply tank or its piping shall,
- ensure that any leaks are repaired;
- ensure that any defective equipment or
component is repaired or replaced forthwith
- take all reasonable precautions to
prevent the escape or spillage of fuel oil during all operations including test and
- ensure that escaped fuel oil is
recovered and contaminated soil is removed forthwith.
an underground tank will not be used, or where it has not been used for two (2) years,
whichever comes first, the owner of the tank shall,
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
- contravenes or fails to comply with any
provision of the Gasoline Handling Act or the Energy Act;
- knowingly makes a false statement in any
document prescribed by the regulations; or
- fails to carry out the instructions of an
is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to
a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year,
or both, or, if the person is a body coporate, to a fine of not more than $100,000.
Restoration Environmental Contractors can supply a
full turn-key operation when dealing with USTs or ASTs.
and investigation of potential problems may include:
- geophysical investigations to assess the
potential for buried debris and contaminant plumes,
- shallow sampling of soils by portable
- pitting and excavation by backhoe, or
- borehole drilling and monitoring well
installation by rotary drill rig.
site specific parameters have been established a remediation program can be implemented
which may include:
Restoration Environmental Contractors are fully
covered by both General Liability, and Professional Errors and Omissions Insurance - call for details.
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Restoration Environmental Contractors.
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