Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Generic Remedy Guidance and Cleanup Options

Additional Cleanup Option for Residential Heating Oil Releases Approved

DEQ approved the Heating Oil Tank Generic Remedy Guidance Document on Jan. 24, 2000. This option was developed specifically to provide a less costly cleanup option for releases from residential underground heating oil tanks that protects both human health and the environment.

Description of Generic Remedy Guidance

The Generic Remedy eliminates the need for site-specific risk characterization for qualifying sites. It was developed based on a review of historical analytical data and documented similarities in conditions at residential heating oil tank cleanup sites. To use this option there must be no groundwater impact, no free fuel product present, and no ecological risk. Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon concentrations up to (but not exceeding) 10,000 ppm in soil may be left in place if:

  • There is at least three feet of clean soil over contaminated soil,
  • The volume of remaining contaminated soil (over 500 ppm TPH) does not exceed 65 cubic yards, and
  • Analysis for the presence of benzene, ethylbenzene and naphthalene must be performed on all samples exceeding 2,500 ppm TPH. Measured concentrations for ethylbenzene and naphthalene in soil cannot exceed the generic risked-based concentrations in effect at the time of the cleanup project. Benzene concentrations cannot exceed 0.1 ppm.
Guidance documents
For additional information and guidance, please reference our Forms and Guidance

Cleanup Options

The approval of this Generic Remedy now gives home owners and service providers an additional cleanup option to choose from. The most appropriate option should be selected only after the extent and severity of contamination is known. The complete set of cleanup options includes:

  • Soil Matrix - simple soil-only cleanups to specific TPH levels (100, 500, or 1000 ppm)
  • Generic Remedy - soil-only cleanups as described above (replaces Soil Matrix "pocket-in-place")
  • Risk-Based Cleanups - cleanups with groundwater impact and soil cleanup which cannot meet the generic remedy criteria


For more information, contact the Heating Oil Tank Program or call 503-229-5696