PADEP Offers Tips to Homeowners on Heating Oil Tanks, Holds Brownfields Conference

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PADEP Offers Tips to Homeowners on Heating Oil Tanks, Holds Brownfields Conference

PADEP Encourages Homeowners to Inspect, Repair Home Heating Oil Tanks


As cold weather approaches, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) is urging homeowners to act now to save energy and money by inspecting indoor and outdoor home heating oil tanks for potential problems prior to re-filling them.

“A quarter of all Pennsylvania homes use heating oil to stay warm in the winter,” PADEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “It is very important that these homeowners maintain and inspect their oil tanks to ensure they are safe and function properly; and at the same time, they will benefit by saving energy and money this winter.”

Leaking heating oil could cause indoor air problems and potentially contaminate groundwater and private drinking water wells. A spill cleanup may cost up to $50,000 and may not be covered by homeowner’s insurance. Residents who think their oil tank may have a problem should immediately contact their oil company for help.

PADEP encourages homeowners to consider these tips:

  • For safety reasons, always assume the tank contains at least some oil;
  • Routinely inspect the exterior of the tank and all attached equipment;
  • Check for signs of rusting on the tank and its structural supports;
  • Examine the tank’s fill line and feed line to the furnace for leaks;
  • Never tip over or empty a tank on the ground;
  • Enlist a professional to perform maintenance or alterations to a heating oil tank system; and
  • Recognize that wet spots or odors near the tank may signal a problem.

For fuel delivery, make certain that the home address is clearly visible and the tank’s fill line clearly marked. If a resident cannot be home when fuel oil is delivered, clearly mark the fill pipe with a red flag or marker and inform the oil company of the location. Ensure that any disconnected fill pipes that remain above the ground are permanently sealed and cannot be opened.

While heating oil prices have come down since last year, residents are urged to avoid needlessly losing fuel and to protect the investment they have made to keep themselves warm.

For more information and to download a free fact sheet, “Tips for Residential Heating Oil Tank Owners,” visit, keyword: Storage Tanks, or call the agency’s Division of Storage Tanks at 717-772-5599.

PADEP Hosting Annual Statewide Brownfields Conference in Allegheny County

The PADEP, in partnership with the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), invites stakeholders, community leaders and industry professionals to a statewide brownfields conference from Oct. 29 to 31, at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Allegheny County.

“This annual meeting is emblematic of Pennsylvania’s commitment to being a leader in brownfield reclamation,” PADEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “I look forward to sharing ideas with industry leaders to ensure that Pennsylvania continues to innovate in this field.”

Secretary Krancer will address the group as the keynote speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Previously, PADEP and the ESWP held separate statewide conferences that appealed to the same audience, and this is the first year they have worked together on the conference. Organizers, using an advisory panel of industry experts to develop conference content, plan to hold the event in a different region of the state each year.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Marketplace Meets Brownfields,” will highlight current redevelopment topics, including the popular Extreme Makeover competition; mobile workshops; a video showcase of success stories; and technical updates on market trends and treatment options.

There will be a tiered track of courses available to provide continuing education credits for economic development agency personnel, local government organizations, planners, real estate professionals and engineering professionals.

Brownfields are properties where expansion, redevelopment or reuse are jeopardized due to the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. Pennsylvania’s approach to brownfields redevelopment has proven to be a national model for transforming abandoned, idled properties into places of economic opportunity.

For more information and to register or display an exhibit, contact the conference manager at 412.261.0710, ext. 11 or

To learn more about brownfields redevelopment in Pennsylvania, visit and click on the “2012 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference” button, or call 717.783.1566.

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