March 22nd, 2017

Hazmat Vancouver – Oil Tank Removal in Vancouver

Oil tank buried underground qualifies as hazmat or hazardous materials under the hazardous waste and dangerous goods classification in Vancouver. Their removal thus requires the attention of waste removal companies that are duly certified to handle hazardous waste and dangerous goods.

It interesting to note that up until the 1960s, most of the homes in Vancouver relied on oil burning furnaces which used underground oil storage tanks that could be filled periodically by tanker trucks. When the city began the switch to gas furnaces, most of the oil furnaces were removed and the underground storage tanks were either removed or decommissioned. In the instances when the tanks were decommissioned, they were to be drained of all oil and left empty.

Why care about underground oil tanks

Unfortunately, most of the decommissioned underground oil storage tanks were never drained and with time, the oil began to leak to the nearby grounds. The leaked oil, as expected, is very dangerous since it is combustible and is a great contaminant of the soil and the environment. If you were to purchase a home in West Vancouver, it will be vital for you to determine if the property has an underground oil tank and whether or not it was decommissioned and drained of all the oil.

This is because when you purchase such a property and it happens to have an underground oil tank leaking to the environment, you can inherit a huge liability and hence it is highly advisable that you consider oil tank removal before the purchase of the property.

Currently in North Vancouver, if a property has an underground oil tank, the tank has to be removed immediately and the soil contaminated by the leaked oil must also be removed by a qualified, certified and licensed oil tank removal company. This may not be a cheap endeavor and can run into thousands of dollars.

If a property with an underground tank is discovered in Vancouver, two scenarios are likely to play out-:

  1. It will be difficult for you to get mortgage if you wanted to buy the property – if an oil tank is present in the property you are trying to acquire, you will not get fire insurance on the property and without this, no mortgage company will bother look towards your direction simply because the lenders do not give out mortgages to properties not insured against fire.
  2. Spend thousands of dollars on environmental remediation – the owner of the property is likely to spend thousands of dollars in environmental remediation should it be discovered that oil leaks from the underground storage tank his lot and the neighboring lots. Such remediation usually runs into thousands of dollars.

Be safe with oil tank inspection

It is very vital not to have underground oil tank storage in any property in Vancouver, BC. In the event that you suspect to have one, or you want to acquire a new piece of property, always insist on having an oil tank inspection conducted. Most of the times, the inspectors will not charge anything for the inspection because they will make money on the oil tank removal.