Oil and Chemical Damage

You may prevent oil and chemical damage by paying attention to oil and chemical handling and storage procedures. Accidents can take place in, for example, underground oil storage. 

In cases of oil or chemical damage, the contaminated soil must be decontaminated. The preservative fluid used in damage decontamination and the soil that was removed during decontamination must be delivered to a hazardous waste collection point (Kiertokaari) or a waste receiving station that is permitted to receive soil that was contaminated in the specific way. 

The costs of immediate decontamination action are primarily paid by the party responsible for the environmental damage or crime. The property or area owner must pay the costs if the responsible party cannot be identified. 

Oulu’s regional environmental protection regulations offer further information about storage of fuel and other hazardous chemicals. 

Underground Oil Tanks on Properties 

The owner or holder of the oil tank is responsible for appropriate upkeep and maintenance of the oil tank. The appropriate periodic inspections of the oil tank, its possible decommissioning and their documentation are important information for, for example, selling the property. 

Aging or defective oil tanks and careless treatment are significant risk factors for the soil and groundwaters. Soil decontamination causes almost always significant excavation and decontamination costs. The party responsible for the contamination is responsible for evaluation of decontamination need and the decontamination. The property owner or occupier might also be responsible for reconditioning the contaminated area.  

Owner of an underground oil tank – what to do:

  1. Have the oil tank inspected regularly. Save the inspection reports. 

  2. If you notice soil contamination, contact the Environment Office of the Oulu Region immediately. 

  3. Empty and have the tank inspected when it is decommissioned. 

  4. Ensure that a report of the decommissioning is made to the fire authorities. 

  5. Deliver the removed oil tank with its pipes for appropriate processing. 

Decommissioning Underground Oil Tanks 

A decommissioned underground oil tank must be removed from the earth along with its pipes. The tank must be emptied, cleansed and inspected by an inspection authority approved by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). If odors or leaks are noticed during removal, contact the Environment Office of the Oulu Region immediately. 

Leaving a decommissioned oil tank in the ground 

If the removal of an underground oil tank is technically challenging or it could cause significant damage to other property, you may apply for an exception from the Environmental Protection regulations for leaving the tank in the ground. 

Environmental Protection authority can grant you an exception from the removal obligation if the exception is not seen to cause a threat of environmental contamination. Read more about the application: Environmental Protection Permits and Notifications. 

Contact Us

Environment Office of the Oulu Region
Environmental Protection
Environmental Protection help line is open on weekdays 9.00-15.00. E-mail is read on weekdays.