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Underground storage tank being removed by an excavator

Underground storage tank removal or abandonment permit

Until the 1960s most Vancouver home furnaces were heated by oil in underground storage tanks (UST) typically buried in yards near furnaces.

Today, all heating oil storage tanks that haven't been used for two years must be removed to:

  • Properly manage the flammable and combustible contents
  • Minimize the risk of subsurface contamination

Also, any contaminated soil must be removed and replaced with clean soil.

Find out the benefits of removing a UST, how to detect one on your property, and how to get a permit to remove it or safely abandon it in place.

Benefits of removing a tank from your property

Removing a tank:

  1. Improves your property's environmental conditions
  2. Satisfies lenders, buyers, and insurance agents
  3. Removes high-risk conditions
  4. Reduces your environmental liability and subsequent effects to your property value

Detect a tank on your property

Check our records first

The City may have records for UST removals, abandonments, and installations. To check, phone 3-1-1.

Hire a contractor to confirm

As a property owner, it's your responsibility to confirm if there's a UST by hiring a contractor to search the property. The contractor will use equipment like ground-penetrating radar to search for a UST.

If a tank exists, retain the contractor as soon as possible to either:

  • Remove the tank
  • Abandon the tank in place if the City agrees that removing it isn't practical

Ask several contractors for quotes and look them up with the Better Business Bureau.

Remove or abandon a tank

Apply for a permit

Do the work

Clean up contaminated soils

Report on the finished work and soil analysis

Permit fee and other costs

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning

Phone
604-873-7611

Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon

Contact Fire Prevention

604-873-7593

Hours
Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm