Regulatory Requirements

  • For an abandoned heating oil tank (HOT), the State regulation is that in a real estate property transaction that the tank be emptied of heating oil, the oil properly managed (reused or recycled), and documented
  • There is no regulation requiring a property owner to collect soil samples or decommission their HOT
  • Registering a decommissioned HOT with the DEQ, that was not found to be leaking, is voluntary. Samples must be collected to register a decommissioning with the DEQ
  • The only entities that can perform HOT work are the homeowner or a licensed DEQ HOT Services Provider
  • Any Heating Oil Tank with soil sample results of 50 ppm or higher must be reported to the DEQ by the licensed Service Provider within 72 hours
  • Even if samples are not collected or analyzed, but contamination is obviously present, it still must be reported as a leaking tank
  • The DEQ does not distinguish between an overfill and a leaking tank
  • If a tank is found to be leaking, the DEQ requires the tank be immediately pumped out to stop the release

New regulations in March of 2000 had two major changes:

1. The Licensed Service Provider became responsible for certification and future liability. Unlike all other leaking underground storage tanks, the DEQ longer issues “Nor Further Action” letters (NFAs) for HOTs
2. From a regulatory standpoint, a tank is not considered to be “decommissioned” unless soil samples have been collected. You cannot certify a HOT as being decommissioned without soil samples
The certification for heating oil tank decommissioning and cleanups are now provided by DEQ Licensed Service Providers

The certification for heating oil tank decommissioning and cleanups are now provided by DEQ Licensed Service Providers

  • In Oregon, soil samples are usually part of the buyer’s due diligence
  • If the tank is abandoned, HOTs are usually requested to be decommissioned and certified according to DEQ standards
  • The buyer or lender may sometimes request a decommissioned tank be registered with the DEQ. To register a decommissioning with the DEQ requires the following:
  • Generally speaking, before March of 2000, unless specifically stated in a certification or report, samples were usually not collected.  A buyer may request the tank be certified in these instances
  • If a tank has leaked, it must be reported to the DEQ

Underground tanks that have been reported to the DEQ (includes reported leaking tanks and registered decommissioned tanks).

TIP: You many want to try just putting in the street number only (ex: 11080) and then hit “Lookup.”  A list of tanks with that number will appear; then simply look for the street name.

If tank has been removed, there are ways to determine where the HOT may have been located (tracing lines, ground-penetrating radar (GPR), look for fill material, etc.)

Request any documentation and if there is no documentation or record of soil samples, we recommend:

  • Performing a search (if necessary)
  • If tank is found, verify if filled
  • Collecting samples

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Why Choose Alpha Environmental

Our goal is to get the job done right while protecting our client. We are committed to ensuring you are safe in your residence, no matter what. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and here to help with all of your environmental needs.

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David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!
Kristen L.
Portland, OR
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Wow where do I even begin?? We’re absolutely thrilled by the work Alpha has done for us and we’re eternally grateful to them for ridding our house of asbestos tile! They’re polite, kind, professional — from estimator Filo to manager Dame to Jake, Melvin and the other two guys on the crew (so sorry we didn’t get your names) — you guys are awesome and we so appreciate your help. Our house looks amazing. The peace of mind you’ve given us is priceless. We can’t thank you enough. We’ll certainly be in back in touch if we ever need any of your services again. Thank you thank you!!!
Jeff S.
Salem, OR
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Alpha environmental's employees were punctual, pleasant to work with and there services are reasonably priced. I highly recommend them because I would use them again in the future.
Lea C.
Tualatin, OR
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Took a water sample in for lead testing and they were so fast and helpful. Rodolfo was so nice and informative in explaining the testing and what it meant! Would definitely recommend everyone to go there and will go to them for any future needs!
Claire B.
Portland, OR
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Alpha environmental was extremely helpful in navigating me through the process of testing some leftover construction debris for asbestos so I could take it to the dump. Their office manager spent time with me on the phone discussing the options for sample collection, and was extremely friendly in answering my many questions. Sample drop off at the office was easy and the results even came back a few days earlier than expected. Will definitely return if I need more sampling done!
Jeff C.
Tigard, OR
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I would highly recommend anyone wanting, quick efficient services relating to environmental testing to check out Alpha Environmental. Not only was the staff friendly and responsive, but also professional! If I could 6 stars out of 5, I would!
Jotham P.
Portland, OR
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We used Alpha Environmental Services to conduct our home inspection, radon testing, sewer scope and oil tank decommissioning. Every part of their service was really professional. They took so many great photos of the house during the inspection and offered lots of explanation on what they found. Great team. Highly recommend!

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