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Heating Oil Technical Assistance Program

Introduction

On April 15, 1997, Governor Locke signed into law legislation authorizing the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency to implement a program to provide assistance to owners and operators of active, as well as abandoned, heating oil tanks. PLIA is authorized to provide written opinions on the results of testing and assessment, noting if appropriate, that contamination resulting from a release of heating oil appears or does not appear to be a threat to human health and the environment.

As resources permit, PLIA will provide technical assistance to the owners and operators of active or abandoned heating oil tanks if contamination resulting from a release is suspected. Assistance regarding administrative and technical requirements may include observation of testing, site assessment, as well as review of the results of reports and other appropriate activities.

Since 1997 PLIA has provided over 40 homeowners with a letter of finding stating that the site has met the cleanup standards defined in the Model Toxics Control Act Chapter 173-340 WAC. The homeowners have used this letter to meet the needs of lending institutions and environmental agencies. Please feel free to contact us to see if we can meet your needs. A representative of PLIA will be happy to answer any questions relating to heating oil tanks.

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Process

Technical Assistance will be provided only on request of the owner of a heating oil tank. If the operator of a heating oil tank is not the owner, the operator must provide PLIA with specific written authorization of the owner before advice and assistance is provided, or before a site is visited or reviewed.

Upon receipt of a request for advice and assistance, PLIA will provide the owner or operator of an active or abandoned heating oil tank:

  • An application requesting technical assistance, including an agreement between the tank owner and PLIA regarding procedures and reimbursement requirements of the program.

Technical Assistance provided under the program may include:

  • Observation of sampling and testing, site assessment or other appropriate assessment activities scheduled by the tank owner.
  • Interpretation of the results of testing and/or assessment(s).
  • A report from PLIA to the heating oil tank owner of the results of testing and/or assessment(s).

The heating oil tank owner or operator must select a service provider to perform sampling and testing, site assessment or other appropriate assessments. The tank owner or operator must enter into an agreement with the service provider regarding the scope or extent of work and fees for services. The tank owner is responsible for payment of all costs associated with soil sampling or site assessment.

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Assessment

Upon completion of review and evaluation, PLIA will, in writing, inform the heating oil tank owner of the results of review and assessment of data. The report from PLIA to the tank owner will provide one of the following:

  • A conclusion that there is no apparent contamination that poses a threat to human health and the environment and, therefore, no further action is required.
  • A conclusion that minor contamination is present at the site and further site characterization or cleanup may be required.
  • A conclusion that serious contamination is present, that it appears to pose a threat to human health and the environment, and that immediate corrective action is required.
  • A conclusion that the testing and assessment are inconclusive with recommendation as to the other options for the tank owner.

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Cost

PLIA is required to collect, from the heating oil tank owner or operator requesting technical assistance, the costs incurred in providing assistance. Costs incurred may include travel costs and expenses associated with monitoring site assessments, review of reports and analyses and preparation of written opinions and conclusions. The fee must be paid in full prior to PLIA issuing its report of review and assessment of data. The fee for Technical Assistance is $350.00.

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Liability

The State of Washington and/or the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency accepts no liability, nor portion of liability, from the heating oil tank owner or operator.

The State of Washington, the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency, and its officers, employees and agents are immune from all liability, and no cause of action arises from any act or omission in providing, or failing to provide, advice, opinion, conclusion, or assistance under this program.

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RCW (Revised Code of Washington)/WAC (Washington Administrative Code)

The Heating Oil Technical Assistance Program is governed by the Revised Code of Washington- Chapter 70.149 RCW and the Washington Administrative Code - Chapter 374-80 WAC.

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