Some homes, especially in the eastern United States, used buried oil tanks with heating oil as a fuel source for heat in the mid-20th century. Unfortunately, they've since been found to be environmental hazards when they leak (and any structure over time has the tendency to break down, including an oil tank). Thus, removal, 'decommissioning,' or 'abandoning' these oil tanks has become common practice when preparing a home for sale. This can be an expensive process, especially if the location of the oil tank is under a structure of the house (like a garage, or worse, part of the living space itself).
Those buying a house in the eastern United States are encouraged to investigate whether a buried oil tank exists, and if so, if it's been decommissioned.
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