There are certain questions we hear all the time. One question we get probably more than any other comes from people preparing to sell their home. They want to to know why they are told they have to remove their underground oil tank in order to sell their home when there are no laws that say this is necessary. While it is true that there is no law that says this must be done, it is unlikely you will be able to sell your home without removing the old tank.
The fact that there has been no new laws written about underground oil tanks in years is not a help to anyone, infact this grey area is causing problems. You see these days it is a buyers market. The economy is slow, not to mention insurance companies are wisening up about the way they cover things, oil tanks being one of them. It used to be that people would be okay with filling their old oil tanks with sand, foam or concrete and they would feel confident that that was the end of the problem. Out of sight and out of mind went the oil tanks. There were so many problems with this method of filling the tanks in place that eventually many leaks were later discovered that could have been prevented with a removal instead. When filled in place, leaks that may already be contaminating the soil were never looked for, left to cause some major issues underground.
Insurance companies and home buyers caught on to these issues when they heard the many horror stories of new homeowners who were assured their underground oil tank was properly taken care of. So these days, it is not likely that an insurance company will insure a home for a new owner that includes liability on the underground oil tank. Without proper insurance, there is no mortgaging a home. As the seller of the home, though you are not required by law to remove the tank to sell the house, you basically have no choice if you want to sell it.