The Petroleum Cleanup Fund (PCF) offers financial assistance to low income tank owners towards the removal, replacement, or upgrade of aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) and underground storage tanks (USTs) used to store heating oil that provide heat to a non commercial property located in Vermont. The financial assistance program expenditure is capped at $400,000 per fiscal year (FY) from July 1 to June 30. Learn more about this program on the state site.
Requirements for Tank Installations
Conversions to Natural Gas
Vermont law requires a heating fuel tank, fill pipe and vent be removed at the time of conversion to natural gas. Any property owner that fails to follow this law will be liable for any spill.
Types of Tanks
Single wall tanks are allowed but must not be less than 12 gauge in thickness. Fiberglass tanks must be double walled if they are outdoor tanks. Single walled fiberglass are acceptable for indoor tanks. Skid tanks can not be located within 25 feet of a drinking water supply or with 25 of surface water.
Concrete Pad- Altered or new tanks only as of 5/25/2017
All tanks, indoor and outdoor, are required to be on a stable foundation such as a concrete pad to prevent the tank from tipping over. All four legs need to be on the same solid foundation, concrete blocks are not allowed. While there is no requirement for thickness, 6 inches of reinforced concrete is recommended. Even flat bottom tanks with no legs are required to be on a solid foundation. A tank located in a flood plain must be securely anchored to the concrete pad. You can determine if a home is in a floodplain by entering the address into the FEMA Map Service Center located here.
If the tank is located at the gable end of the building, a shelter is recommended but not required. If the outdoor tank is not at the gable end, a shelter is required to protect it from falling snow and ice.There is no requirement that the shelter have walls. No shelter is required for Roth tanks which have secondary containment.
Inspection of Tanks
The tank installer must complete an AST Inspection Checklist and review the guidelines with the tank owner. The AST Inspection Checklist can be found on page 17 and 18 of the AST Rules. With prior approval from the Agency of Natural Resources, a checklist designed by a company or a third party can be used. According to the regulations, fuel dealers should inspect a tank prior to the initial delivery using the AST Inspection Checklist. Any problems identified in the inspection which indicate a potential for a fuel release must be corrected before the fuel delivery. The state of Vermont does not collect or review these checklists, unless there is a reported spill. If a fuel dealer completes an AST Inspection Checklist and the consumer refuses to bring their tank into compliance, the fuel dealer is not responsible. However, the regulations say that the fuel dealer must not deliver if there is a potential for a fuel release during the delivery, such as a non working vent alarm.
Reg Tagged Tanks
If you determine that a tank is unsafe and non-compliant, a fuel company should red-tag the tank in the same way a heating service technician can “red tag” a furnace. Red tagging a tank will indicate that the tank is out of compliance and that the fuel dealer declined to fill the tank due to the environmental risk. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources maintains an online database of red tagged tanks. A fuel company is liable for any spill if they fill a red tagged tank.
Fuel from the old tank can not be transferred to the new tank, UNLESS the old tank is in poor condition, leaking, or likely to be leaking. If pumped into a replacement tank, it must be treated with a fuel conditioner. The fuel conditioner must contain the following components; stabilizer (to keep fuel fresh during summer storage), dispersant (to arrest moisture and pre-existing sedimentation), corrosion inhibitor (to protect storage tank and remainder of the fuel system) and metal deactivator (to protect against fuel blackening from contact with yellow metals). Unused fuel in old tanks that is not burned prior to new tank installation or is not treated by a fuel conditioner must be disposed of in accordance with the Vermont Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.
Vermont law requires tanks to be removed during natural gas conversions. In all other instances the tank must be removed if it is out-of-service for more than one year. All piping must be removed as well. Under no circumstance may a disconnected fill pipe be left in place. The person that removes the tank is responsible for removing the fill and vent pipes as well.
Aboveground fuel tank specialists.
Hilltop is proud to be partnering with TankOut in offering comprehensive services for fuel tank inspections, replacement, service, and tank removal. Just in time for new regulations in place as of July 1, 2017 effecting all Vermonters utilizing tanks for heating oil & K1. Contact TankOut at 802-735-7880 or by email. Visit them online at tankoutvt.com.
Waste Management and Prevention Division
Department of Environmental Conservation
One National Life Drive, Davis 1
Montpelier, VT 05620-3704
Copies of these rules and other information are available at the Vermont Storage Tank Program website at: http://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/storage-tanks