An environmental spill will only get worse.

You have been heating your home with furnace oil for years and then late one night you detect a slight oil odour.  After inspecting your oil furnace and oil fueled water heater, if you have one, you come to the realization that there is an oil leak somewhere but, since your oil tank seems to be nearly full, the thought of a fuel leak gets pushed to the back of your mind.  Two weeks later, you have no heat and your oil tank is empty.  You call your fuel supplier who inspects the equipment and confirms that several hundred litres of home heating oil have escaped from your oil tank.  What now? 

In Ontario, as soon as a spill is detected it must be reported to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).  The MOE will report the leak to the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) who will attend your property to determine why the leak occurred.  After the oil burning equipment has been examined, the TSSA will order you to remove the resulting oil contamination.  The TSSA and MOE share the responsibility of being the "Governing Body" to ensure the spill is remediated.  

After 3 weeks, you finally decide to advise your insurance company.  Provided you were prudent and made sure you do not have a pollution exclusion in your insurance coverage, an engineer will attend your property with a contractor to determine where the contamination is and how best to remove it.  

The contamination may have spread extensively from what it was the night you first detected the oil odour.  Although professionals
within the environmental remediation industry may disagree on the most appropriate way to remove contamination from a site, the one
thing we can all agree on is that a quick response is key.

 If you smell fuel, don't wait.  Delays in remediating a site will only increase the cost and project time.