Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Contaminated Sites

Domestic Oil Spills

Nova Scotia Environment considers a domestic oil spill to be a release of petroleum at a private residence or small apartment complex such as an oil tank leak. When a domestic spill occurs there is the potential for contamination of soil and groundwater which may affect private wells, drinking water supplies, or adjacent properties. Releases may also result in the presence of petroleum vapors at concentrations that may affect the health of some individuals. If a homeowner or occupant has concerns regarding health effects due to exposure, they should consult their family physician or the local Medical Officer of Health.

A simple furnace oil cleanup can mean replacing the leaking tank and supply lines and removing contaminated soil to a treatment facility. A complex project may mean replacing the house foundation and treating groundwater. Costs can range from several thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars.

The person responsible for a fuel oil spill may include an individual such as the homeowner or occupant, or a company, such as the fuel supplier. The person responsible for the spill, is accountable for the costs associated with any emergency action, site assessment and/or remediation deemed necessary.