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The Town of Ellington

Underground Storage Tanks

Underground Fuel Oil Tank: (dispose of, temporarily remove from service or abandon-in-place):  This subject has always been surrounded by some confusion.  The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) regulates some parts of certain project and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) regulates some parts of all such projects.  The Department of the Town Fire Marshal enforces much of the process through enforcement of the Connecticut State Fire Prevention Code.  DEEP defines an underground Storage Tank (UST) as an underground tank storing heating oil used to heat four residential units or fewer.  DEEP does not regulate the installation, use or removal of these residential heating oil USTs. However, any contamination resulting from these tanks, including the clean-up of such contamination is regulated.  There is no DEEP funding for residential USTs.  Any costs associated with maintenance and eventual removal of residential USTs, including costs for remediation, should be considered when purchasing residential real estate.  Reporting to DEEP of any failure (leakage from any USTs or its piping system) is mandatory.  DEEP does regulate heating oil USTs serving five or more residential units and you should proceed to their website for details.  

The Building Department will likely require a permit for such activity except that for singe and two-family residential properties and certain "townhouse" type construction, the permit will not be required. The Connecticut State Fire Prevention Code (CSFPC) regulates the installation, use and removal of USTs on all properties, excluding single and two-family residential properties and certain "townhouse" type construction.  Visit the handouts section of the Fire Marshal's webpage  for detailed specifications regarding removal or abandonment-in-place of USTs.

DCP requires that a registered Home Improvement Contractor be hired. These contractors must display their registration numbers in all advertising, including advertising on vehicles. A homeowner should check the contractor’s registration with the DCP prior to entering into a contract. DCP also requires that a licensed plumber perform any piping installation or replacement. DEEP recommends that a soil sample be collected from underneath the tank and piping and that it be analyzed for Extractable Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (ETPH) at a Connecticut Certified Laboratory. Most often contractors will collect samples and deliver them to a certified lab for you. Take photos of the tank and the excavation, if possible. Have your contractor generate a brief letter report documenting the details of the tank removal, including ETPH reports from the lab. Keep these documents in a safe place, as homebuyers usually want proof prior to purchasing the house that the tank did not leak or that any leak was cleaned up.

Owners of single and two-family residential properties and certain “townhouse” type construction engaged in the unregulated activity of removal of USTs are invited to voluntarily create a file at this office as a depository for related documents, photos, etc., so as to have a secure third-party collection of documents for your future access and reference.