Buried Oil Tanks – Important Information you should know.

Heating Oil TankIf you’re looking to buy or sell a North Carolina home built prior to 1965 there may be a possibility that a buried fuel oil tank is buried on the property and sometimes the present owner may be unaware of its existence since they may never have used it.  I’m focusing on the buried tanks in this post but both buried and above ground tanks could present potential liability for property owners. As oil storage tanks age it’s not uncommon for them to rust and begin to leak contaminating soil and potentially impacting the water table. Once leakage is detected, NC State government has very specific requirements for immediate action to assess the environmental impact and the remediation and removal of damaged storage tanks and contaminated soil affected by the oil spill. Contamination is not always obvious and could go undiscovered for years, once detected however, the contaminated property cannot be sold until the proper cleanup is completed and assessed according to North Carolina law.

This typically requires at least one month to complete so the sooner the process begins, the sooner the property can be sold. In the event that site conditions prevent the complete removal of contaminated soils.  A Notice of Residual Petroleum must be filed with the applicable county register of deeds office prior to conveyance of the property. This Notice will remain on the Deed and be visible to the next purchaser of the property.

If a tank has been previously removed from the property but no assessment of possible soil contamination has been performed, then a liability for cleanup of soil contamination may exist on the property and the new owner may be wholly or partly responsible for its cleanup. Likewise, if a tank is said to have been abandoned by filling with sand, foam etc., and there is little or no documentation of the work that was done then you should assume that a liability for contamination might still exist on the property.

Leakage from above ground storage tanks must also be dealt with by the property owner or responsible party, as defined under NC State Regulations. Leakage from an above ground tank can also pose serious difficulty in complying with State cleanup and assessment standards.

Attention to the environmental issues relating to past heating oil use and its potential impacts to a property can save you from becoming liable for a mandatory and expensive cleanup.

Triangle Area Map

Chapel Hill, Durham & Raleigh area Real Estate on Facebook

Colin A. Moody REALTOR®, Broker, RCA, CREN

P.S. Over 80% of my business is accomplished through my personal relationships with people like you. If you do not presently have a real estate professional in mind that you would refer, I would love to be that person. I promise to provide anyone you send me with excellent service before, during, and after the sale.

Relocation Certified Agents (RCA)

Certified Real Estate Negotiator (CREN)

Gold Executive Council

HCo Properties


Phone: 919-400-5966


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: