Every gallon of Oilheat, Kerosene, and Off-Road (Dyed) Diesel sold in bulk in Vermont has a 1-Cent Per Gallon Petroleum Distributors Licensing Fee (PDLF). Revenue from this fee goes to the Petroleum Cleanup Fund (PCF). The PCF helps pay for pollution remediation and pro-active measures to reduce spills.
Vermontʼs Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) rules regulate the design and installation of heating oil tanks.
They also provide spill prevention and inspection requirements for both tank owners and fuel suppliers.
The installatation and inspection of aboveground storage tanks has been regulated by the state of Vermont since 2011. A proposed revision to these regulations would require aboveground heating oil and kerosene storage tanks to be inspected at least every three years.
These regulations are still pending before the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR). They have not been finalized and not been approved yet.
Details on the proposed — still pending — regulation.
• A fuel oil tank can not be filled if it has leaks, drips, pitting, rust, dents, cracks or corrosion.
• The tank must be on a stable foundation.
• If the fuel line between the tank and the burner is below grade or on concrete, it must be either plastic coated copper or sleeved.
• All tanks need to have a working vent alarm or “whistle.”
• Tanks must have fill pipe and vent must be a minimum diameter of 1-1/4 inch.
Red Tagged Tanks
If a tank is unsafe to fill, it may be red-tagged and placed out of service. Red tagging a tank will indicate that the tank is not in compliance and poses a risk of leaking or spilling. A fuel dealer is prohibited from filling a red tagged tank. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources maintains an online database of red tagged tanks.
Help for Tank Replacement
The Vermont Petroleum Cleanup Fund (PCF) offers financial assistance to residential tank owners toward the removal, replacement, or upgrade of both above-ground and underground fuel oil storage tanks. Qualified applicants may be eligible to receive up to $2,000 to replace an indoor tank, up to $3,000 for an outdoor tank, and up to $4,000 for an under-ground tank. Any work that is completed prior to application approval is not eligible for financial assistance from the Petroleum Cleanup Fund.
Funds are limited and subject to availability. More information on the Vermont Tank Financial Assistance Program can be found at: vermontfuel.com/tankassist
Regulations for Aboveground Storage Tanks installed after July 1, 2017
• Shutoff valve must be within 12 inches from fuel outlet.
• Vent line must terminate outside the building and vent alarm or “whistle” must terminate near the fill pipe.
• The fill pipe and vent must be a minimum diameter of 1-1/4 inch with a waterproof and insect proof cap.
• All newly installed tanks must have a gauging device.
• Plastic coated copper and protective sleeves are required on new fuel lines installed below grade or on concrete. Existing tanks should have one or the other.
• Multiple tanks are required to have separate fill pipes, vents, and alarms.
• A solid pad is required to prevent settling, tipping, sliding, floating, or lifting.
• Indoor tanks located in a floodplain must be securely anchored or attached to a foundation of steel or concrete. This is recommended but not required for outdoor tanks.
Inspection of Tanks
Fuel dealers must inspect a tank prior to the initial delivery of fuel to a new customer. Any problems identified during the inspection which indicate a significant risk of a spill must be corrected before the fuel is delivered. The owner of the tank is required to have their tank inspected at least once every three years.
All indoor and outdoor aboveground storage fuel oil tanks installed after July 1, 2017, are required to be on a stable foundation such as a concrete pad to prevent the tank from tipping over. All four legs need to be on the same solid foundation, concrete blocks are not allowed. Six inches of reinforced concrete is recommended. A tank located in a floodplain must be securely anchored if located indoors. Find out if your home is in a floodplain by entering your address on the FEMA Map Service Center website: msc.fema.gov/portal
If an outdoor tank is under the eaves of the building, a shelter is required to protect it from falling snow and ice. No shelter is required for Roth tanks which have secondary containment. If the tank is located at the gable end of the building, a shelter is recommended— but not required.
Types of Tanks
All new single walled tanks cannot be less than 12 gauge in thickness. Fiberglass tanks must be double walled if they are placed outdoors. Single walled fiberglass tanks can be used indoors. Skid tanks can not be located within 25 feet of a drinking water supply or within 25 feet of surface water.
Fuel from the old tank can not be transferred to the new tank, unless the old tank is in poor condition, leaking, or likely to be leaking. If pumped into a replacement tank, it must be treated with a fuel conditioner. Unused fuel in old tanks that is not burned prior to new tank installation or is not treated by a fuel conditioner must be disposed of in accordance with the Vermont Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.
Vermont law requires a heating fuel tank, fill pipe and vent be removed if the heating system is converted to natural gas. A property owner that fails to comply may be liable for any spill. In all other instances, the tank must be removed if it is out-of-service for more than one year. All piping must be removed as well. Under no circumstance may a disconnected fill pipe be left in place.