For more than a decade, the Canadian government has had regulations in place that help to reduce the risk of releases of oil and gas products from storage containers, both above ground and underground. At the time the legislation was passed in 2018, an estimated 15 percent of all active storage tank systems in the country were more than 20 years-old and, as such, had no corrosion protection, leak detection, or structure designed to contain leaks and spills that could cause harm to humans as well as the environment.

Underground storage tanks have always been of special concern, not only in Canada but worldwide. As a matter of fact, oil spills from such tanks are the largest single threat to groundwater quality in the neighbouring United States as well as in many countries both large and small. That’s because such tanks can corrode quickly when they are buried unprotected in the soil. This corrosion, as well as other factors such as poor installation practices, pipe failures, and spills during product delivery, results in dangerous leaks.

Many storage tanks in Canada belong to companies that lack the financial protection to cover such releases, which is why a Storage Tank Environmental Insurance policy was formed to address the pollution risks associated with some aboveground and underground storage tanks.

Why opt for pollution liability insurance?

Underground tank owners have a responsibility to the public to keep their tanks in good working condition so that leaks and spills don’t happen. But the truth is that gradual leaks do occur and often without the knowledge of the tank owner.

This is why many businesses that deal with underground storage tanks for petroleum or other products opt for some sort of commercial storage tank insurance. Several insurance carriers offer this “Storage Tank Third Party Liability, Corrective Action and Clean-up policy”, which provides coverage for claims arising out of pollution conditions emanating from a storage tank. Such policies can be costly but protect against a number of losses including

  • property damage
  • bodily injury
  • clean-up costs
  • cost of taking corrective action
  • defence expenses.

A number of different industries that use both above ground and underground storage tanks take advantage of this insurance each year. This includes fuel storage terminals, gas stations, waste treatment and disposal facilities, hospitals, warehouse storage facilities, and many others.

This insurance is available from many different Canadian insurance companies and can be tailored to fit the various needs of the customer.

It’s all about correct installation and monitoring

Of course, proper installation and good monitoring systems are important where underground tanks are concerned.

At Western Oil Services, we understand that safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to storage of fuel and other fluids. We specialize in fuel and fluid storage solutions for industrial and commercial sites, and our experience in the replacement and upgrade of older fuel systems as well as the introduction of new backup systems ensures that our clients’ energy needs are met and are monitored for safety.

In addition, Western Oil Services works with brand name manufacturers of tank monitoring systems, and we strive to integrate these technologies on site for each of our clients so as to avoid accidents. By connecting via the internet, telephone, or other low voltage network (alarm), our clients are warned at the earliest sign of low fuel levels or leaks in the system. This helps avoid incidents that would trigger the need to file a claim on a storage tank insurance policy.

Regular inspections

We also offer preventative maintenance inspections for our customers who own fuel storage systems. These can be scheduled monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually and are highly recommended for those storing product that could be harmful should leaks occur. Inspections can detect problems caused by regular wear and tear and from aging. These meticulous inspections allow the client to remedy situations that could eventually turn into anything from a minor inconvenience to a full-fledged disaster.

For more information on our fuel and fluid storage solutions, including underground tanks, call us at 1-800-663-2097.