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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center

DATE: March 8, 2011
CONTACT: Jim Martin (603) 271-3710
Jack Chwasciak (603) 271-3577

State Concerned about Weather-Related Damage to Fuel Storage Tanks
Recent Snow, Rain and Thaws Leave Tanks Vulnerable

Concord, NH — With the recent mix of heavy winter weather, including flooding, the Department of Environmental Services is alerting home and business owners to check regularly on the condition of their above-ground fuel storage tanks. Snow, ice, thaws and flooding can damage outdoor heating oil/propane/natural gas tanks, and the piping connecting the tank to the building.

Damage to tanks, filters and associated piping can result in gas leaks and heating oil spills, which are expensive and critical to clean up. Gas leaks can be deadly, explosion/fire hazards. To protect yourself and your property, follow these tips:

  • Snow and ice that has accumulated around tanks, filters, and piping should be (carefully) removed for accessibility and safety.
  • Snow and ice damage can be avoided and prevented by removing it from roofs and overhanging eaves where tanks are located below.
  • When removing snow and ice from roofs care should be taken to avoid dropping it onto tanks, filters and piping.
  • Temporary and permanent covers can be used to protect tanks and piping from snow and ice damage. Galvanized steel filter protectors may be available at no cost to homeowners from fuel oil dealers or from DES.

If you should experience a fuel spill despite your best efforts to protect your fuel tank, first, contact your local 911 responder or fire department. Second, call the DES Spill Response and Complaint Investigation Section, at (603) 271-3899, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or the State Police on weekends and evenings at (603) 271-3636. More information about reporting a spill can be found at

For more information, contact DES at (603) 271-3577, or your own fuel dealer.


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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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