Most oil tanks don’t leak, but you don’t hear about the non leaking tanks because they are not as interesting to talk about as the leaking tanks.
There are no regulations requiring you to remove an in service heating oil tank from a property (in the State of New Jersey). Tank Regulations
Buyers of both commercial and residential properties are concerned that an underground tank may have or is leaking. This concern can be addressed if soil testing is performed around a tank to confirm that no leak has occurred. Without independent testing there is no way to confirm that there is not a leak. Learn about tank testing by clicking here: Oil Tank Testing and Tank Certification
Buying or selling a property where an oil tank was removed or filled in place and no report with test results is available, does not provide legally defensible evidence that the tank did not leak. In this situation testing must be done to verify that the tank did not leak. Learn about abandoned filled in place oil tanks here: Abandoned Filled in Place Tanks
In New Jersey Grants are available to reimburse homeowner’s for leaking oil tanks. Previously grants were available to remove a non leaking tank, these non leaking tank grants are no longer available. Oil Tank Grants
When a tank does leak, many homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for the cleanup. Age dating can also be performed if policy coverage is not current so that a date of release can be determined. Age Dating
Every State allows some amount of oil to remain in the ground. So even though your tank had holes, even if you have oil in the ground, the quantity of oil you have determines if the levels are permissible.
Residential properties can be sold when a tank leaks, as long as the extent of the leak is determined, costs are developed to remediate the leak and both buyer and seller can agree on financial responsibility. This typically entails defining the extent of the contamination so costs to cleanup can be developed. Cleanup Costs
Tanks can be cleaned in the ground, then filled in place with foam, sand or concrete in lieu of removing the tank.