CBC News Radio Interview about leaking oil tanks

Pacific Group Developments

Kelsey Wiedner talks about the trouble with old oil tanks that remain buried and often forgotten in back yards on the Island. The problem became a nightmare for one Saanich homeowner last week when more than 1,000 litres of heating oil leaked from an underground pipe and ended up in Swan and Colquitz Creeks.

Buried tanks pose financial risk to homeowners

Pacific Group Developments

Thousands of oil tanks are buried under homes around Greater Victoria, but many homeowners are unaware they can face financial ruin if there is a leak.

Most insurance providers on Vancouver Island do not cover damage from heating oil spills and have “pollution exclusion” clauses in their policies.

“Those clauses are unique to high-risk areas, and Victoria is a high-risk area because we didn’t have natural gas until 1992,” said Dave Rogers of B.C. HazMat Management Ltd., a private company that specializes in spill cleanup.

Home-heating tank leaks oil into Swan Lake sanctuary

Pacific Group Developments

An underground oil tank was the source of a small spill that leaked into Swan Creek and the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, a Saanich municipal manager says.

The leak, which was reported Jan. 11 by sanctuary staff, was traced back to a tank in a yard on Easter Road at Saanich Road, said Ben Bowker, Saanich’s manager of storm and wastewater.

The municipality dug up and plugged drains at that property line to prevent further leakage, while the homeowner hired a company to pump out and remove the tank and do remediation work, Bowker said.

Oil spill at mobile home in Sooke contained, says mayor

Pacific Group Developments

A cleanup was underway in Sooke Wednesday after about 500 litres of home-heating fuel spilled from a mobile home at 2206 Church Rd. in Sooke.

A tenant called the district Saturday to report the oil tank at the residence had leaked, Sooke Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Sorensen said.

“The district was advised ... and there was some contact made with the owner of the park. But because of the Christmas holidays, all we could get was voice mail,” Sorensen said.

Realtors warn of home oil tank peril, urge inspections

Pacific Group Developments

Location may be the golden rule in real estate, but there’s likely a new one biting at its heels in the wake of a series of fuel spills involving home heating oil from storage tanks both above and below ground.

The new rule: If you plan to buy or sell a house, find out if there’s an oil tank buried on the property before it costs you.

“It’s all about due diligence, from both sides,” said Carol Crabb, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board. “Both buyers and sellers need to do their homework.”

Heating oil spill into Gorge traced to nearby home's abandoned tank

Pacific Group Developments

A contractor using ground penetrating radar has found the source of two heating oil spills that flowed into public storm drains, then into the Gorge Waterway this year.

The abandoned oil tank with 2,000 litres of an oil-water mixture was discovered Thursday in a yard adjacent to Gina Dolinksy's home on Adelaide Avenue, said Graham Knox, B.C.'s environmental emergency program manager.

Colquitz suffers another fuel spill

Pacific Group Developments

Another day, another spill on the Colquitz River.

Saanich public works crews on Wednesday were trying to locate the source of another fuel spill on the urban waterway.

Volunteer river steward Dorothy Chambers discovered the fuel spill Tuesday. She notified Saanich public works, who responded quickly, building a siphon dam to stop the contamination from spreading.

“We suctioned it out two times right away,” said Adriane Pollard, environmental services manager for Saanich.

Province will trace oil leak from Saanich home

Pacific Group Developments

The B.C. government will step in and sniff out the source of oil that has flowed from Gina Dolinsky's Saanich property, into public storm drains, then into the Gorge Waterway. For the second time this year oil spilled from Dolinsky's Adelaide Avenue propertyon Sunday. She heats her home with oil, but several checks have confirmed that her heating oil tank is not leaking and her furnace is in good working order.

Saanich home destroyed in botched heating-oil delivery

Pacific Group Developments

A Saanich home was reduced to rubble Tuesday after efforts to clean up a heating-oil spill failed, making demolition the only option.

The spill this year resulted from a misdelivery by an oil company, which means that - unlike most of the increasing number of home oil-tank and pipe failures in Greater Victoria - the homeowner won't be on the hook for the $750,000 cost of demolition and rebuilding.

That cost will be picked up by the oil delivery company's insurer, said David Rogers, founder of B.C. Hazmat Management.

Mysterious oil leak leaves homeowner on hook

Pacific Group Developments

Oil ran out of drainage tile around Gina Dolinsky's home and into the Gorge Waterway earlier this year, leaving her with thousands of dollars in cleanup and investigation bills.

But Dolinsky has never had an oil leak in or around her house and every test has shown her oil tank and pipes are intact

"Now I am at a stalemate. I am a single parent and I can't afford the thousands of dollars to clean this up," she said.

Oil tanks in Vancouver Real Estate – Still a hard reality.

Pacific Group Developments

A few weeks ago the Vancouver Sun ran a couple articles on oil tanks and even provided a few horror stories about experiences that certain home owners have had. Many people in the industry scoffed at the idea, and a local broker function, I heard the words, “the oil tank problem is pretty much cleared up in Vancouver now.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are still thousands of oil tanks out there in the ground, and oftentimes even the owner of the home doesn’t know it is there!


Fears for wildlife after another Colquitz spill

Pacific Group Developments

Home-heating oil has again spilled into Colquitz Creek and there are fears that salmon smolts, herring and a resident beaver could be harmed.

The spill of an estimated 634 litres of oil, noticed Thursday, came from a home on Brookridge Place, which backs on to Colquitz Creek, officially named Colquitz River.

"It's heartbreaking and, this time, it is in the stem of the creek where there is significant spawning habitat," said Christopher Bos, a member of the Colquitz stewardship team.

BC Resale Housing Rebound will lead to construction boost

Pacific Group Developments

‘Greater Vancouver tends to lead the other markets and that’s what we’re now seeing,’ says Carol Frketich, CMHC's regional economist for B.C. ‘In 2010, it will spread to the rest of the province. This will prompt builders to start more homes to meet a growing need for housing.’

VANCOUVER — A tight housing resale market is good news for B.C.’s new residential construction sector in 2010, according to a report released Monday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

New annual oil tank charge sparks outrage in West Van

Pacific Group Developments

A new effort by the District of West Vancouver to regulate buried fuel tanks has led to hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails from residents. At the end of November, the district began sending out invoices to the estimated 4,500 homeowners who have a disused buried fuel tank on their property.

Oil spill turns homeowner's life into a "nightmare"

Pacific Group Developments

The owner of a home in the Glanford area of Saanich says his life has become a "nightmare" because of a heating-oil leak that could contaminate the Colquitz River system.

An underground line connected to the oil tank is protected by concrete, but somehow it broke, said the owner, who did not want to be named.

At least 1,000 litres of oil permeated the soil in the Kenneth Street area. The contamination has been a "a slow-moving disaster," but various agencies are working hard to contain it, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said.

Building and Construction Industry: Complete Outlook

Pacific Group Developments

 The outlook for the building and construction industry is average.

 The performance of the building and construction sector has been outstanding over the past decade. The industry currently provides around 6 per cent of the Victorian economy’s output.  It has experienced ten years of strong growth but activity is expected to decrease during 2009 and 2010.

Backyard nightmare: Leaking oil tank costs $160,000 to clean up

Pacific Group Developments

A North Shore woman is suing the former owners of a home in West Vancouver after she shelled out more than $160,000 to remove 5,000 litres of contaminated fuel from a leaky home-heating oil tank buried in her backyard.

Susan Aldred says she discovered the tank when she decided to sell her home on Mathers Avenue in February. She wonders how many other homeowners are similarly unaware of such a problem. The tank had not been used for about 25 years and was buried up against the house on a steep slope with flowing underground water.

Be careful when buying homes once heated with oil

Pacific Group Developments

In March 2004, Arthur and Yvelle Dupere agreed to buy a house in Nova Scotia from Gregory and Joey Evans. Before the contract was signed, there were discussions about the outside oil tank. The sellers disclosed that several years before there had been a "minor spillage" of oil in the basement before the inside tank was replaced with an outside one.

The Evanses also assured the buyers that the property was safe to inhabit.


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