​​The current Heating Oil Tank Program started on March 15, 2000. This program allows third party certification of cleanups and decommissionings of heating oil tanks by DEQ licensed service providers. When a licensed contractor completes a cleanup or decommissioning, the company submits a certification to the Department. The Department will then issue a letter to the tank owner registering the contractor's certification. The combination of the contractor's certification and DEQ's registration is equivalent to the "No Further Action" letter that the DEQ used to issue.


Cleanup agreement

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. 

HOT cleanup projects can be very 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 fees for Soil Matrix ($250), Generic Remedy ($350) and Risk-Based ($450) allow 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.

HOT Program staff will work with your licensed HOT service provider to determine if issues associated with your site warrant HOT Program Cleanup Agreement enrollment. If so, DEQ will mail the HOT Program Cleanup Agreement packet to you for your review and completion.

Enrollment in the HOT Program’s Cleanup Agreement requires an initial deposit of $500. Once you sign the agreement and submit the deposit to DEQ, an account will be established for your site.

If project costs exceed the account balance, DEQ will submit to you an invoice for all costs in excess of the advance up to a ceiling of $1,000. Note: The $1,000 ceiling applies to residential properties only, and not commercial or industrial sites.

​Yes, the certification registration fees for Soil Matrix ($250), Generic Remedy ($350) and Risk-Based ($450) must be submitted when filing the certification for HOT Program review.

If a Cleanup Agreement is in place, the certification registration fee is included with the $500 deposit.

​Yes, licensed HOT service providers must still certify that the work performed meets the requirements of Oregon law (Oregon Administrative Rules 340-122-0205 through 340-122-0360 Chapter 340, Division 177).
​Depending on site conditions, a conditional no further action letter may be issued for the site. A site that may warrant issuance of a no further action letter in lieu of a closure letter would involve the presence of an engineering control that would require operation and maintenance.
​No, but you are required to satisfactorily complete the cleanup. At complex sites, your service provider may recommend that you hire an environmental consulting firm (i.e. registered geologist or professional engineer) to design a protective cleanup and allow the contractor to certify the project. DEQ recommends that you sign up because we think that the HOT Cleanup Agreement will allow DEQ to work more closely with your service provider and ultimately provide a more cost-effective certification.

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.


Guidance for contractors

The quality and completeness of the HOT Decommissioning Report and a HOT Soil Matrix Cleanup Report submitted by contractors, or homeowners who do their own work, are important factors in how responsive DEQ can be in registering these reports. DEQ has developed this "Model" HOT Voluntary Decommissioning Report and "Model" HOT Soil Matrix Cleanup Report to provide an example of complete reports. Many of the pages are DEQ provided forms where the requested information needs to be completely filled in. Many of the attachments are copies of documents received from laboratories or from treatment and disposal companies handling waste or receiving contaminated materials.