Residential Home Heating Oil Tanks
In 2018, 45% of Connecticut households used fuel oil or other petroleum products as the primary energy source for home heating.
Residential home heating oil tanks can be found:
in a home’s basement,
outside, above ground near the house or
buried in close proximity to the house.
Homeowners should be proactive, educate themselves on home heating oil tank safety, and work with their licensed service provider to prevent oil leaks and spills.
The Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality’s December 2019 report on the extent of accidental releases (spills and leaks) of home heating oil in Connecticut and recommendations to reduce the incidence and severity of accidental releases.
Appendix A of the report includes financing assistance programs in that are available for homeowners wishing to upgrade or replace their heating fuel systems and oil tanks.
Answers to your questions about underground storage tanks and additional resources that you may find helpful.
The Connecticut Department of Insurance requires that homeowner’s policies include liability coverage and funds for the clean-up of a fuel oil release, though exceptions may exist. Homeowners should consult with their insurance agent to determine if the release is covered under their policy.
If the release is the fault of a heating oil dealer, homeowners should consult with their dealer. The State requires heating oil dealers to have general liability insurance coverage and insurance to cover any potential environmental damage due to heating oil spills. When a release of any petroleum or chemical occurs to the ground, this means that a release has occurred to the waters of the state. Water is a public trust. Thus discharges to soil or water result in third party damage because the waters of the state have been damaged by the release to the ground.
The property owner or the entity that caused any condition which reasonably can be expected to create a source of pollution to the waters of the state is responsible for cleaning up the release and restoring the soil and water.
Department of Insurance Contact Information
- Online portal: to file a complaint or ask a question Website: www.ct.gov/CID.
- On the home page, look for “Complaints and Questions".
- Call the Consumer Services Division at: 1 (800) 203-3447 or (860) 297-3900.
- E-mail the Department of Insurance at: email@example.com.
Information to help guide contractors who are installing, maintaining and/or servicing underground storage tanks that serve five or more residential units.
Pursuant to CGS Sec. 20-420, in order to remove or replace Residential Underground Heating Oil Storage Tank Systems, certain training, approved by DEEP, must be completed. Details for contractors can be found on the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s (DCP) web page at:
Such approved training includes both of the following courses:
- Occupational Safety & Heath Administration’s (OSHA’s) 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Training per 29 CFR 1910.120, and subsequent annual 8-hr refresher training; and
- International Codes Council’s (ICC’s) UST Tank Decommissioning U2 Training.
Educational Resources for Contractors that Work with Homeowners
Educates homeowners, landlords and local officials on the hazards of having an unprotected oil line installed underground or within concrete basement floors.
This fact sheet from the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH) provides an overview of how to detect, control and report oil spills within your home.
Content last updated May 2020