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September 2021

Orleans stumbled out of the gate with a change in how the town approaches oil tanks, specifically, single walled tanks. Such as most towns with a similar ordinance in place, Orleans would join the list of municipalities that would require that prior to closing on a property serviced by a single walled tank, ownership would be required to upgrade to a double walled tank. Exceptions to this rule would include the incoming buyer verifying in writing that he or she would take on the responsibility of the upgrade, often assumed as a negotiation tactic or in cases where the incoming buyer is converting to an alternate “fuel” source be it electric, natural gas, propane, etc.… Taking it one step further, Orleans scaled out mandatory deadlines.

Have granted access to many homes to prove/verify that tanks have been upgraded or systems have been converted to alternate fuel sources, it was acknowledged that a very poor database from generations gone by were the culprit coupled by modern day dysfunction exacerbated by a very ill worded and heavy-handed letter promising $250 per day fines unless or until applicable properties are brought into compliance. Regardless of install dates, deadlines and absurd threats and fines which have appalled full and part timers alike, should you enter into agreement, sign a proposal, with a vendor to complete the upgrade and submit a copy of the fully executed contract to the Orleans Fired Department, the penalties are waived through the stipulated installation date. Most oil providers offer this service though there are a few independents that switch out tanks routinely. If you have a single walled tank, establishing the installation date may be determined through your oil vendor or HVAC contractor either of which are far more reliable than the sparse database which again is the larger cause of the confusion and heavy language rather than the initial intent that is fuel spillage. If I may be of assistance or if you do not have an oil tank and need to prove it to the town, feel free to reach out and I will address it on this end.