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Are Heating Oil Tanks Regulated?

Tanks used for the storage of heating oil for consumptive use on the premises where stored are excluded from federal UST regulations. However, state or local regulatory agencies may regulate these tanks. You should contact your state or local regulatory agency for more information. EPA developed a flow chart, titled "Does my tank qualify for the heating oil tank exemption?" (PDF) (1 pg, 220K, About PDF), to aid you in determining whether your UST qualifies for the heating oil tank exemption.

Heating oil includes several grades of petroleum fuel oils: No. 1, No. 2, No. 4-light, No. 4-heavy, No. 5-light, No. 5-heavy, No. 6, Navy Special Fuel Oil, and Bunker C. No.2 diesel fuel and kerosene are not defined as heating oil, but are considered a substitute for heating oil when used for heating purposes only.

Consumptive use is not intended to be limited to heating purposes only: the definition extends to any on-site use including heating, generating emergency power, and generating steam, process heat, or electricity. The exclusion does not apply to tanks storing heating oil for resale.

The premises is not limited to the building where the heating oil is stored; it includes anywhere on the same property. Thus, centralized heating units using heating oil that serve more than one building on the same property would qualify for exclusion.

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