New Jersey Regulations update following accidental discharge of fuel oil from tanks during conversion to natural gas
State of New Jersey
Department of Community Affairs
Division of Codes and Standards
Construction Code Element
Trenton, NJ 08625-0816
Date: April 1, 1993
Subject: Abandonment-Heating Oil Tanks less than 2,001 gallons
Reference: N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.14
Bulletins 88-3 and 91-4
It has recently come to the Department's attention that them have been several
accidental discharges of fuel oil resulting from oil tanks that have been
placed out of service. These incidents commonly occur when home-owners convert
from oil to natural gas for their heating needs. The problems have centered
around tanks that have not been removed and have been "forgotten about" and
subsequently leaked due to corrosion.
In other cases the tank has been removed
but the fill pipe has been left in place. Fuel oil deliveries made to an
incorrect address in these cases have resulted in fuel oil being pumped into the
basement of the home.
Previously in Bulletin 88-3, we indicated that abandoned oil tanks that had
become unsafe were to be removed. In addition, section P-2906.11 requires any
tank that has not been used for 90 days to be safeguarded.
Although F-2906.11 allows 90 days to elapse before action in taken, in cases
where conversions are performed it is clear that the abandonment is better performed
during the conversion to ensure that safeguarding the tank will not be forgotten.
Therefore, either the permit for the conversion, or a separate permit issued as
a prerequisite to the permit for the conversion shall include safeguarding of
the tank itself (see Bulletin 91-4 for proper abandonment procedures) and
removing or permanently capping all and vent pipes associated with the tank.
It may be noted that all work covered under the permit will be inspected upon
completion without regard to the 90 days referenced in F-2806.11 for
The only exception to this would be where the home-owner can demonstrate that
there will be a legitimate continued use of the tank after the conversion to
natural gas or other fuel is completed. Such legitimate use would be the use of
the tank to supply an oil appliance (i.e. oil fired hot water heater, oil
burner to heat a garage, etc.), or the use of heating equipment that can use
In the case of [oil] tanks which will remain in place it should be noted
that the fill caps on oil tanks am required to be painted green unless the fill
pipe is fitted with fill-tightness systems and clearly marked with the words
"FUEL OIL." Any tanks to remain in service shall meet these requirements in
order to avoid accidental pouring of fuel oil into storm drains, sanitary
Oil Tank Reporting Regulations History for New Jersey
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