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Frequently Asked Questions about Decommissioning, Cleanup Costs and Service Providers


​Underground heating oil tanks are a potential source of contamination of the soil and groundwater, may pose a fire and explosion hazard under certain conditions, and heating oil from leaking underground tanks may impact human health. Underground tanks also corrode and over time may weaken to the point where they can no longer hold fuel.

​We recommend that you hire a DEQ-licensed service provider to perform this work for you. A list of contractors is available on this Web site or by calling toll-free at 1-800-742-7878.

If you are thinking about decommissioning your own tank, you can access the regulations on this website or you can call toll-free at 1-800-742-7878 and have a copy of the information mailed to you.

If you have any questions after you have read the rules and regulations, you can call 503-229-6170 and talk with a heating oil tank specialist.

​The empty, inert (rendered explosion-free), and cleaned tank can be recycled with any metal recycler or disposal facility. Disposal receipts should be saved.
​An oil dealer or an oil recycler can pump the oil out of the tank. Look in your phone directory under oil or waste oil for the names of companies who perform this service.
​Above-ground heating oil tanks are not regulated by the DEQ, so decommissioning and certification are not necessary.

How to Find Service Providers (Contractors)

​​A list of contractors is available on this web site. Or, call toll-free at 1-800-742-7878, leave your name and address and a message requesting a list of licensed contractors and a list will be mailed to you.

​​No, the DEQ does not recommend contractors. We can provide you with a list of licensed contractors or let you know if the contractor you have selected is currently licensed.

You can also make an appointment to review the DEQ service provider file for a contractor you are interested in hiring by calling 503-229-6170. You may also want to call the Oregon Construction Contractors Board in Salem at 503-378-4621, x4900 to see if the contractor has had any complaints and that their Construction Contractors Board license is current.

This information is also on the Construction Contractors Board Web site.


The file will not be reopened because of a rule change. Typically, the only time file is reopened is when new or undisclosed facts show that the cleanup does not comply with the rules in place at the time of cleanup.
A soil matrix cleanup is one of several approaches for addressing heating oil contamination and involves the removal of most, if not all, of the contaminated soil at a cleanup site. For more information, refer to the Heating Oil Underground Storage Tank Rules, see Laws and Regulations link above.
​The heating oil tank generic remedy is one of several approaches for addressing heating oil contamination. The generic remedy involves property where some low-level contamination can remain at the site. This may involve some soil removal to achieve the requirements. This method cannot be used for sites with groundwater present in the area of the tank.

​A risk-based cleanup is a method for addressing heating oil contamination that may allow you to leave much of the contamination on the property. A more extensive investigation and evaluation must show that the contamination can remain without posing a risk to human health and the environment. A risk-based cleanup is typically used when removal of contamination may undermine the foundation of the house, or when costs to remove contamination are prohibitive.

Depending on the extent of contamination and other relevant factors, the responsible person should determine which cleanup option is best suited for the contamination release. Financial considerations, site-specific information, personal preferences of the property owner, and the ability to remove contamination help to determine the best approach.

Fees, effective Jan. 1, 2020

Report Filing Fees
  • Clean Decommissioning: $100/project
  • Cleanup Report: Tiered based on project type: 
    1. Soil matrix (Simple): $250
    2. Generic Remedy (Intermediate): $350
    3. Risk-based (Complex): $450
Licensure Fees
  • Service Provider License
    • Year 2020 - $800/yr
    • Year 2021 - $900/yr
    • Year 2022 - $1000/yr
  • Service Provider Supervisor License: $100/year