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I n t r o d u c t i o n

Fire permits are required for tank removal and tank decommissioning. The process is streamlined to one fire permit for most cases. Under VFBL Section 4.10.3., all underground tanks which have no further use or have been out of service for two years must be removed. Owners are required to take remedial action to retrofit the tanks by either removal or neutralizing the tanks for contamination if removal is not feasible.

We cannot recommend a specific contractor to perform the work. Please ensure the one you select has a business license to operate in the City of Vancouver.

P r o c e d u r e

The applicant must bring or possess the knowledge of:

1. property owner’s information (registered name, address, phone number).

2. site plan with location of tank indicated relative to other buildings, property lines, street lines, etc.

3. tank description (capacity, depth, etc.)

4. application fee of $300 per permit.

A . T A N K   R E M O V A L   O N L Y

The applicant can apply for a tank removal permit directly either at the Fire Prevention Office at 456 W. Broadway or at the main counter 4th floor East Wing at City Hall. A fire department staff will assist you in the completion the permit application form, and a trades permit clerk of Permits and Licenses will process the application. Please see the page 2 for office hours and location.

The fire permit will have various conditions to cover other departments’ concerns. The Fire Department will determine with the information given, whether shoring will be required, or if other structures or street lines are affected. Approval from Environmental Protection (EP) Branch will be required for known contaminated sites to ensure an approved remediation plan is in place.

Otherwise, onus is on the applicant to comply with the following conditions:

‰If the excavation requires shoring or hoarding, a building permit (together with a geotechnical letter of assurance) and Engineering Streets approval will be required.

If work affects sidewalks, boulevards or lanes, clearance from Engineering - Streets Division is required.

‰Excavation must be completed in same day with continuous site supervision. If work cannot be completed, owner must follow requirements in VFBL Section 8.2 for Protection of the Public and Fire Safety on fencing off construction site.

‰Excavation must be completed in same day with continuous site supervision. If work cannot be completed, owner must follow requirements in VFBL Section 8.2 for Protection of the Public and Fire Safety on fencing off construction site.

‰The tanks, together with connected piping and dispensing equipment, shall have all flammable liquids removed. The tanks and piping must be removed from the ground and purged of vapours. The pipe ends must be permanently sealed by capping or plugging. City of Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services Procedure of Issuing Tank Removal and Abandonment In Place Permits for Non Single Family Dwellings July 7, 2004

B . T A N K   A B A N D O N M E N T   I N   P L A C E

Where it is deemed impractical by the Fire Chief to remove an underground storage tank, the owner may apply to the Fire Chief for permission to abandon the tank in place. They include situations where the storage tank is:

a) located in whole or in part beneath a permanent building or other facility and that excavation of the storage tank is not practical.

b) so large or of a type of construction that the excavation of the tank is not practical.

c) inaccessible to the heavy equipment necessary for removal of the storage tank, or

d) situated so that removal of the storage tank would endanger the structural integrity of nearby buildings or other facilities.

The following steps must be taken to decommission a storage tank:

1. All remaining oil must be pumped out from the storage tank and connected pipes.

2. Sufficient holes are cut along the top of the storage tank to inspect tank.

3. Any residual oil or sludge in the storage tank must be removed.

4. The tank must be filled with an inert material such as low density concrete slurry mix, or sand/gravel. The access must be large enough to ensure the tank has been fully filled.

5. Associated piping shall be removed from ground or purged of vapours and the ends permanently sealed by capping or plugging.

6. Written verification from a licensed contractor is required to the District Fire Inspector for work complete.

7. For your own protection, soil around the old tank site should be tested for contamination. If contamination is found, contact our Environmental Protection Branch for instructions on how to replace soil with clean fill.

Permits can be obtained from:

Print pdf here or:

Lieutenant, Customer Services, Fire Prevention Office at
#201 - 456 W. Broadway
Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1R3
(604) 873 7026 or (604) 873 7595
Monday to Friday 9:00 am to Noon (Any other time by appointment only) 

Other Contacts:

Licenses and Inspections- (604) 873 7052

Environmental Protection Branch – (604) 871 6540

Engineering - Streets Division – (604) 873 7292