We’ve started to experience some pretty chilly nights, and we all know what this means—the start of the heating season is upon us! Many Vermonters heat their homes with fuel oil, and know that this requires a storage tank that is owned by the fuel recipient, not the fuel dealer. In order to ensure that the tank is safe for the homeowner and the environment, Vermont fuel dealers are required to inspect a tank prior to the initial delivery of fuel to a new customer, and some new regulations for Vermont oil tanks are now in effect.
For your tank to be compliant…
- It cannot have leaks, dents, rust, cracks, or other types of corrosion.
- It must be placed on a stable foundation.
- Below-grade fuel lines must be protected with plastic coated copper or a sleeve.
- It must have a functioning vent alarm.
- Its fill and vent pipes must have at least a 1-1/4 inch diameter.
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To stay compliant, you need to…
- Have your tank inspected by a certified tank inspector (at least) every three years
- Correct significant issues before the tank is filled
- Ensure your indoor or outdoor above-ground fuel oil tank has a stable foundation, is free-standing and upright, and does not have contact with the ground
If your oil tank does not meet the new Vermont regulatory standards, it may be red-tagged. Fuel dealers are prohibited from filling a red-tagged tank.
How to cover the costs of replacement
The estimated cost for replacement for an oil tank is around $1,600 to $1,800, and this can be a real burden for people, especially those who are not expecting this expense on top of their heating fuel expenses. The Vermont Petroleum Cleanup Fund (PCF) offers financial assistance of up to $1,000 for income-eligible residential tank owners toward the removal, replacement, or upgrade of above-ground fuel oil storage tanks. For those who are not income-eligible, you can seek out discounted financing options that allow you to pay the cost of the tank over time, without paying a lot in interest.
If you are interested in learning more about the regulations for above-ground storage tanks, you can find more detailed information at the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association’s website.
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