Abandoned Underground Storage Tanks

Abandoned underground storage tanks are very common in San Francisco. In many cases these pose health, safety, and environmental risks.  As such, real property owners in San Francisco who have reason to believe that an abandoned underground storage tank exists anywhere under the surface of their property must make a reasonable effort to locate the tank. Once located the owner must file a plan to close or permit the tank within 30 days of discovery.

Closing and removal of a tank requires the approval of the Department of Health, compliance with the SF Health Code and the California Health/Safety Code, and payment of fees.

Not reporting a known underground storage tank can make a property owner liable to the City and/or County for costs associated with clean up. 

Buyers should be sure to have a property inspected by a qualified professional to determine the presence or lack thereof of underground storage tanks.  It can be prohibitively expensive to remove or clean up a tank (not to mention a potential health risk) so careful consideration should be taken when buying a property with the presence of underground storage tanks.