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Heating Oil Tanks Program

Guidance for Contractors and 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.

[print version]


For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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