On March 15, 2000, the DEQ Heating Oil Tank Program began licensing companies to certify that heating oil tank decommissionings and cleanups were protective of human health and the environment. Between March 15, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2011, DEQ received 23,516 notifications of leaking HOTs and 21,838 have been certified as cleanups completed. One reason why some HOT projects are not certified is because the cleanup is more complex.
Examples of these complex sites include but are not limited to the following:
- Where significant releases to soil cannot be removed to Oregon cleanup criteria due to large volumes;
- Where buildings or other subsurface features make removal of soil contamination infeasible;
- Where contamination may affect current or future beneficial uses of groundwater or surface water;
- Where engineering controls are needed to achieve protective conditions at the site. An example of an engineering control would be a vapor barrier or depressurization system designed to eliminate the ability of sub-surface vapors to enter a structure;
- Where on-going monitoring will be needed to confirm engineering controls are performing properly or beneficial groundwater uses are not affected; and/or
- Where filing of an institutional control, or deed restriction, to restrict a specific use of the site will be necessary.
The current certification fee ($200) allows DEQ to provide limited direction and technical assistance to homeowners and service providers. These complex sites generally require more coordination between DEQ and the service providers. To meet this need, DEQ developed a HOT Cleanup Agreement that allows DEQ to be adequately involved in complex sites.