Virginia DEQ - Home Heating Oil Tanks

Responding to discharges from small heating oil tanks heating oil AST image

DEQ does not regulate small heating oil tanks unless they are discovered to be leaking or discharging oil. Local county/city building and fire code officials can advise you on the proper way to locate, install, maintain and close out small heating oil tanks under the building/fire codes and local ordinances.

Generally, when an oil discharge is discovered it must be reported immediately to the relevant DEQ Regional Office. DEQ has revised the procedures for responding to discharges from small heating oil ASTs and USTs (aboveground and underground heating oil tanks having a capacity of 1,000-gallons or less).

Over the last several years, the number of reported leaking heating oil tanks has increased noticeably. Often these leaking heating oil tanks do not impact a receptor (e.g. drinking water well or stream) and have minimal impact on the environment. The revised procedures allow more flexibility in responding to small heating oil tank sites with a minimal impact on the environment. Refer to the Storage Tank Technical Manual for the complete procedures.

It is recommended that you review and use the checklist entitled “Homeowner's Monthly Tank Checklist.” This voluntary checklist is a comprehensive reference guide to help the tank owner become more aware of his fuel tank. A List of Consultants/Contractors is also available. Please note that the list is provided for your convenience; DEQ does not endorse any specific contractor/consultant.

Heating Oil Technical Workgroup

Supporting information for small oil tanks:

Home Heating Oil Tank Monthly checklist 

Aboveground & Underground Small Heating Oil Tank Fact Sheet 

Virginia Dept. of Housing & Community Development  State Building Code and Regulation: 2009 USBC, 2009 Related Laws Package; information begins on page 77.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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