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North Vancouver

Residential Underground Storage Tanks (RUST)

Property owners can request information concerning a RUST by contacting District Hall:.
Telephone: 604-990-2311


These are guidelines only and are intended to be used as information only. These guidelines will be of interest to District residents with questions concerning Residential Underground Storage Tank(s) or RUST(s). These guidelines generally refer to tanks that are not currently in use or have not been in use for two or more consecutive years and are found on residential property. The District of North Vancouver (DNV) recommends that RUST’s meeting the above definition be completely removed and some form of confirmatory soil testing be completed and summarized in a report. There are currently no DNV bylaws directly governing the removal or inspections associated with the decommissioning and/or removal of a RUST..

Owners of property applying for a District Building Permit, will however be asked to disclose the presence of a RUST on the subject property. Subsequently, a homeowner may be required to either, provide documentation that the RUST has been removed, or have the RUST removed as condition of the Building Permit. The District does not inspect, warrant or provide any assurance whatsoever that a RUST was or has been removed in accordance with any standards. However, as per Section 18 of the District Environmental Protection and Preservation Bylaw, “No person may deposit a contaminant…” such that the contaminant renders the lands contaminated as defined by the Provincial Waste Management Act. In certain circumstances the DNV may require remedial action and reporting to document the removal of the RUST and or removal of contaminants that represent a hazard to public health or the environment..


As late as the 1970’s heavy oil was used to provide heating for certain homes in the District of North Vancouver. Many of these RUST(s) still remain either buried in the ground or resting in a metal cradle above ground. Every year a few of these RUST’s, still containing residual heating oil, leak into the surrounding environment creating health and environmental hazards, while at the same time costing the owner(s) of property significant extra costs that could potentially have been avoided..

The BC Fire Code requires that storage vessels used to store a flammable substance that have not been in use for a certain period of time must be decommissioned in accordance with good engineering practice. Until 2007 the Provincial Fire Code regulated storage tanks that were typically found in residential settings. During this time DNV Fire Services provided inspection and record keeping relating to the removal and decommissioning of RUST(s). This is no longer the case after changes to the Provincial Fire Code..

General Guidelines for RUST Removal/Decommissioning

Employ an appropriately qualified contractor, with documented experience and in possession of a valid DNV Business Licence. Ensure, through early discussion, that the chosen contractor has the ability to provide all necessary receipts, manifests or documents describing the complete disposal or recycling of the RUST and any ancillary components or waste such as oily water and/or contaminated soil. Make sure that a chosen contractor has the ability to delegate issues regarding contaminated soil and/or groundwater to an appropriately qualified professional engineer, geoscientist or technologist..

The British Columbia Fire Code 2006 stipulates that all storage tanks containing petroleum products shall be removed or abandoned in conformance with the good engineering practice. Descriptions of good engineering practice relating to petroleum storage tanks can be found in the following documents;.

  1. Annex C of NFPA 30, “Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code.”
  2. API RP 1604, “Closure of Underground Storage Tanks.”
  3. Part 9 of the “Environmental Code of Practice for Aboveground and Underground Storage Tanks Containing Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products,” published by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.

Upon completion of the RUST removal the property owner should submit the reports and other documentation to the DNV offices (Environment Department) where the material will be scanned and added to the property database. The information then becomes available for future inquiry concerning the property..

Requirements for Proof of RUST Removal or Decommissioning

Provide the District with a signed letter from the property owner or designated contractor stating that the tank has been removed in accordance with good engineering practice.

The District may also require copies of the receipts from the contractor doing the tank removal, which includes details of any residual petroleum or oily water that was pumped from the tank.

Provide copies of historical records that may have been provided by District Fire Services or other contractors or consultants.

Timing: When a RUST has been identified for removal, during the District Building Permit process, the District may withhold a portion of the security deposit until satisfactory documentation has been received.

Owner: The property owner is responsible for all cost associated with the removal or decommissioning of a RUST including all the necessary reports or documentation. The owner of property containing a RUST is responsible for any contamination caused by the RUST.

Information Retrieval

In late 2006 the Provincial Fire Code was changed resulting in a change in the size of tanks required to be regulated by the code and District Fire Services. As a result District Fire Services are no longer providing any service in regards to the inspection or certification of any work relating to a tank that qualifies as RUST. The records kept by District Fire Services have been moved to the District of North Vancouver..

Property owners can request information concerning a RUST by contacting District Hall at 604-990-2311 or