As the cold months approach in the Northeast, we can expect another rash of heating oil spills caused by the negligent overfilling or nondelivery of fuel by oil delivery companies.
Oil spills in a basement or immediately outside a home can completely disrupt a family’s life, ruining personal property they have stored, and permeating their living space and saturating their belongings with toxic fumes and lingering, foul odors. As a regulated environmental contaminant, spilled heating oil spills must be cleaned up promptly, in accordance with state law and regulations. Even when a cleanup which itself usually costs tens of thousands of dollars ̶ is successfully completed, the owner/victim may find that the value of her property has suffered a significant diminution.
Most states have issued guidelines and “helpful hints” for homeowners who discover a heating oil leak, discharge or spill. For a good example, see the guidelines issued by the state of Massachusetts at www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/cleanup/homework.pdf. Important first steps include notifying your local fire department, the state environmental agency, and the company responsible for the spill. Prompt action can help limit the otherwise devastating damage caused by these all-too-common accidents.
Williams Cedar has represented many homeowners in oil spill cases. If you have experienced a spill on your property, please contact us for a free consultation. Inquiries may be emailed to Williams Cedar partner Gerald J. Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.