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Homeowners and Realtors

Please Note: Documents are good for understanding heating oil tank investigation and cleanup but house outdated information about leak reporting and submitting reports to the DEQ. We are working to update these documents.

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.


For all fees associated with a heating oil tank decommissioning, please refer to the Fee Section on the home page.


For records and data associated with a heating oil tank decommissioning please reference Heating Oil Tank Data Section

Guidance for homeowners

Cleanup guidance and decommissioning guidance for homeowners

Homeowners occasionally ask DEQ if they can clean up contamination from a heating oil tank release and if they can decommission their own heating oil tank. It is legal for a homeowner to clean up soil and groundwater from a HOT release and to decommission their HOT, assuming they perform the work themselves and comply with all applicable local, state and federal rules. It is not legal to complete the work by serving as a general contractor and hiring subcontractors to complete portions of the job. To do so transfers liability for improper work by the subcontractors to the homeowner.

Further, homeowners planning to contract the cleanup or decommissioning work out must contract with a licensed HOT Tank Services Provider so that the contractor is complying with the HOT Tank Service Provider law and rules found in Oregon Revised Statutes 466.862 and Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 340 - Division 163.

Before deciding to cleanup or decommission a HOT, DEQ encourages homeowners to read the provided guides to appreciate the full extent of applicable requirements and recommended practices, construction and safety skills and operation of specialized equipment needed to complete the decommissioning in a timely and safe manner.

Preparing a HOT decommissioning report or a HOT soil matrix cleanup report

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.

Process overview

The following is a brief synopsis of the HOT Program’s requirements regarding sampling, sample analysis, and report presentation. The intent is to provide service providers with a general overview of the HOT Program’s requirements. This is not intended to be a complete presentation of HOT Program requirements.
If you have additional questions, please visit the FAQ page.


For more information, contact the Heating Oil Tanks Program or call 503-229-6170.