Archive for oil tank removal

NJDEP: Health, environment not threatened by Paulsboro oil leak; some residents skeptical

PAULSBORO — Faithful patrons of The Diner on West Broad Street here wondered aloud of the petro stench that had emanated Thursday from the Paulsboro Refinery.

Well before they’d heard the latest on the crude oil spill, skepticism filtered through. After all, even under earlier ownership, the plant had reminded locals of just what is in their back yard.

Memories of some past incidents remain, as Diner owner Dale McIntyre would relate.

As for the latest incident, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) spokesman Larry Hajna on Friday said his agency still doesn’t think Thursday’s leak will bring real health risks to area residents.

Hajna also said about 6.3 million gallons of crude oil – not 6.6 million, as previously estimated – had spilled into a containment berm built to hold much more.

The spill came from one of the refinery’s oil containers, officials had said.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Friday met with NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin and others at the refinery to discuss the incident.

“There were scattered reports of people with eye irritation … or respiratory irritation,” Hajna said, while maintaining officials don’t expect major concerns.

“The county has gotten maybe about 50 calls, the NJDEP has gotten a few calls, but nothing widespread.

“I was at the site this morning, and I didn’t smell anything myself,” Hajna said.

He added odors could resurface, as recent rain may have broken up the foam crews had been applying to the oil, but workers would continue to pour on the foam.

Hajna explained the NJDEP isn’t concerned the oil will harm nearby waterways orthe municipal water supply. Workers are pumping the oil to tanks quickly enough to help prevent problems, he said.

“The impact to the groundwater would be very minimal,” Hajna stressed. “It’s a refinery, so there’s already some impact.”

But there are also wells to capture substances. And incidents like Thursday’s are very rare, Hajna said.

The refinery tank holds about 286,000 barrels – 12 million gallons – of oil, and the containment area is built to hold 377,000 barrels.

Hajna said crews are also monitoring the air to ensure safety. County, state and federal officials are taking part in monitoring and cleanup efforts.

That cleanup may take several days to complete, Hajna added.

Despite reassurances, at least some residents have their doubts. McIntyre said they’d come earlier for their normal coffee and commentary.

“There was lots and lots of chatter,” she recalled. “People were kind of giggling at (the NJDEP) statement that even at low concentrations the oil could emit a major odor, and have a low risk.”

But roughly six and a half million gallons? That’s quite a bit of oil, patrons said, all the while questioning whether the health risk was truly so low.

One group had recalled a gathering over Java at the old local Dutch Inn years ago, one interrupted by a similar incident, McIntyre said.

“They remembered they were having coffee together, and they smelled the same odor,” she said. “They had to go home and get their children and pets out for a while.”

While such incidents are far from daily, area residents can recall several.

In October 2001, when the Paulsboro Refinery was owned by Valero, about 150 pounds of hydrogen sulfide leaked from the site.

In heavy concentrations, hydrogen sulfide can cause suffocation. And while that didn’t happen in 2001, the incident did cause a scare.

Winds were blowing that day toward neighboring Greenwich Township. There, at Broad Street Elementary School, all children and staff were taken to the gymnasium, and the doors and windows were sealed with duct tape and plastic.

In June 2011, about 600 pounds of hydrogen sulfide was released from the refinery, which by then was owned by PBF Energy.

Students were evacuated from Paulsboro High School due to the overwhelming rotten egg stench, and several students became at least briefly ill.

Hajna at that time said the exposure was not believed to be a real health threat, although an NJDEP investigation and monitoring followed.

As for the oil spill, it wasn’t immediately clear what penalties may be imposed on PBF or the Paulsboro Refinery in particular.

But New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said the proper penalty could amount “in the millions of dollars … It could be even higher than that.”

Tittel added, however, that lately, enforcement in such matters has been lax. He cited an NJDEP agreement with PBF a year ago, lowering “a proposed $2.3 million air pollution fine to just $796,000, a $1.5 million reduction from the level recommended by enforcement staff.”

Tittel argued that such variation from a recommended penalty encourages companies to risk taking lower fines rather than buckling down on environmentally dangerous practices.


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Get Quality Oil Tank Removal, Testing and Installation Services in New Jersey!

Steve Rich Environmental Contractors is now accredited. Get Quality Oil Tank Removal, Testing and Installation Services in New Jersey with Confidence of #1 and 23 years old company.

Dec 27, 2010 – Steve Rich Environmental Contractors is now accredited. Get Quality Oil Tank Removal, Testing and Installation Services in New Jersey with Confidence of #1 and 23 years old company. Steve Rich Environmental Contractors is your local, underground Tank Removal, Tank Testing, and Tank Installation services for Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset , Sussex , Union, and Warren Counties, including lower New York and Westchester County.

We take pride in our record of customer satisfaction.

Steve Rich & Associates offers a wide variety of services to meet your environmental contracting requirements such as:

• Tank Testing
• Tank Removal/Tank Abandonment
• Tank Installation
• Soil Testing
• Soil & Groundwater Remediation
• NJDEP Reports
• Geoprobe Services
• Construction
• Vacuum Truck Services

Steve Rich & Associates is a fully certified, bonded and insured to give you the piece of mind that you want when hiring an environmental contractor. All of our environmental professionals have many years of experience in the field of environmental contracting, have a solid working relationship with all major insurance companies, have safety training according to all OSHA standards, and have the resources and equipment necessary to bring your project to completion in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Visit now for a quote for getting rid of our Oil Tank or Call 1-877-7-DEPEND.

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Steve Rich & Associates – Steve Rich & Associates is your complete, hometown environmental contracting company. Since 1981, we have provided reliable, comprehensive residential environmental services to the New Jersey / New York metropolitan area.

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Free Oil Tank Removal Program in New Jersey by

Steve Rich Environmental Contractor’s (SREC) is pleased to be able to offer you an opportunity to work with our company and the State of New Jersey to ease your financial burden through the State’s Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Program (PUST).

Call or Email Now to Avail Free Oil Tank Removal Offer:

Phone: 877-7-DEPEND or EMAIL:

Our team of experts understands the rules and regulations of the PUST program. With the help of the State’s program, SREC has developed our own program for homeowners to remove or abandon an old underground storage tank (UST) and an installation of a brand NEW oil tank, absolutely FREE. Planning on converting to gas or alternative energy? Not a problem, this program is also designed for just removing an underground storage tank as well. SREC will remove the old oil tank FREE of charge.

If you meet the following requirements, you are on your way to safeguarding your existing or new home CLEAR and FREE of any environmentally concerns that may have surfaced with continued use of an old UST.

Visit here for complete information:

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Oil tank law to safeguard water zones

Over the course of a year, cleanup crews with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection respond to one spill every day from a home heating oil tank.

Those spills not only threaten the safety of nearby drinking water sources, they also cost the state — and therefore taxpayers — several million dollars annually to remediate.

But beginning July 1, some homeowners installing new or replacement heating oil tanks in specially designated “wellhead protection zones” will have to take extra steps — and pay extra money — to prevent contamination of drinking water sources.

A law passed by the Legislature last year will now require any new or replacement tanks installed within select areas of the state be either double walled or feature a secondary method for containing spills.

Specifically, the law will apply to replacement or new heating oil tanks installed within 1,000 feet of a community drinking water well or within the designated protective zone around that wellhead. A “community drinking water well” is defined as any water system that serves at least 25 people or that has at least 15 connections.

According to the DEP, there are more than 400 community water systems in the state, ranging from municipal water districts to mobile home parks or nursing homes with their own water systems.

The new law will not affect homeowners living outside a designated wellhead protective zone or those with their own personal wells. The law also would apply only when an affected homeowner must replace an oil tank; it does not mandate removal of functional existing tanks.

David McCaskill, an engineer with the DEP’s Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management, said cleaning up after home heating oil spills is one of his division’s busiest jobs.

Roughly 80 percent of Maine’s homes rely on oil for heat — the highest percentage in the nation.

“We spend $2 million a year cleaning up home heating oil tank spills,” McCaskill said. “There is an average of one leak a day.”

The highest percentage of those spills result from tanks that corroded away.

“It’s the long, slow leaks that are catastrophic,” McCaskill added, “because they saturate the soil underneath the house.”

Homeowners affected by the new law will have several choices in tank designs, all of which are likely to cost more than traditional tanks.

The first, less expensive option — coming in at around $200 more than a standard tank, according to McCaskill — are known as double-bottomed tanks and feature an enclosed reservoir at the bottom of the tank to capture any spillage. The tanks have a float mechanism to allow for visual inspection.

Tanks that are double-walled all the way around can set a homeowner back, on average, an additional $1,000 or more, but these tanks are more protective of the environment. For outdoor tanks, the DEP recommends double-walled, reinforced fiberglass tanks.

Finally, homeowners with outdoor tanks also can invest in a containment system that resembles a small shed for a tank. Such an enclosure captures spills while protecting the tank from the elements.

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Ask Barbara: Was oil tank ever on property? Have it checked out

Question: I’m considering buying a 1950s house on Long Island. There’s a vent pipe from an old oil tank visible on the property next to the base of the home. The current owner maintains the house has always been fueled by gas. She has lived there over 10 years. She cannot produce certification that the tank was removed or abandoned properly. The home inspector could not find evidence of a tank ever having been in the basement or a fill cap anywhere outside. How do I find out if an old oil tank is still there now or if it was removed properly? And if I can’t find proof one way or the other, should this be a deal breaker?

Answer: You don’t want to buy a property where there’s even the smallest chance of an environmental hazard. If you’re serious about the property, get another inspection by a licensed engineer and make it the seller’s problem to resolve it by making it a contingency in the contract of sale. If the seller cannot provide legal documentation about whether an oil tank is or isn’t there, then you can walk away from the deal.

Question: I’m having trouble finding tenants for my Washington, D.C., area rental property. Real estate agents have listed my property, we’re on Craigslist, in The Washington Post and registered with Section 8 in my area. I did the right thing by having a good cash reserve to begin with, but I’m sinking fast having to supplement the rent for the empty apartments. 

Answer: This doesn’t sound like an advertising issue, it sounds like a property issue. Tenants want clean, freshly painted apartments in good condition, with new fixtures and appliances. And rent prices have fallen, so consider offering concessions like a half or full month’s free rent to entice potential renters. When you make an apartment more appealing than all the rest, you’ll more than make up these investments with a group of happy, stable tenants over the long haul.

Question: My wife and I have been ­married for 31 years and have always rented a house. Now we’ve saved enough to buy a nice home with no mortgage. However, some people have advised us to obtain a small mortgage since we may need money for unpredicted home repairs, increases in insurance, electricity, heating, property taxes and other living expenses. They also said we’d be losing the “interest” income you normally collect from savings, which could be used for improving our retirement years. We’ll probably both retire in about six years and will be living on my government pension and our Social Security checks. What would you advise?

Answer: I’d shop around for a home that’s either new or in very good condition to avoid those unforeseen repairs. Find out about any hidden problems or potential problems by getting the house inspected before you sign the contract. Figure out what your income will be once you’ve retired and make sure it will cover your monthly housing expenses of taxes, insurance and utilities. Plus, add a little extra onto your monthly expenses for the first year of living in your new home. I guarantee you’ll need all kinds of tools and accessories that you haven’t thought of — especially since you’re going from an apartment to a house. As for the mortgage issue, you’ll get the accompanying tax benefit while you’re both working if you take out a small, short-term mortgage. Use your retirement date as measurement for the size of the mortgage you take out — you’ll want to have that mortgage paid off by the time you retire. Once you’re on a fixed income, you’ll want to minimize your monthly costs and a mortgage you don’t need should be the first to go!

Question: I am contemplating purchasing a condo in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City as an investment. Do you think it is a good idea, especially now that the developers are so willing to negotiate?

Answer: Now’s a great time to get a deal on many new condos in New York City. Some sponsors have a lot of unsold units and big loans to pay off and they’re very eager to sell. You can negotiate on price and the closing costs, which are substantial. State and city transfer taxes alone add up to almost 2% of the purchase price, unless you work that into the deal. I will caution you to buy only if you’re looking to hold on to the property for at least five years so you can ride out this bear market. And make sure you know what you can rent the place for so you can cover your costs. As far as Harlem goes, it’s a great place to buy real estate if you can negotiate a bottom-line price that will make your monthly payments less than what you would pay for a rental.

Question:  If a home in Indiana is listed for $169,900, is there a percentage you can take off the price or is it just based on the other, similar houses in the area? I watch you on the “Today” show and thought I remembered you saying there is a percentage that homeowners mark up their property. We started our bid at $155,500. The appraised value in ’08 was $149,900, so how could it have gone up $20,000?

Answer: There are no rules regarding how owners price their home. Your opening offer is a good one and the sellers would be nuts not to counter. It’s unlikely the home’s value has gone up 13% since last year, so it seems to me that the owners have priced their house so they could negotiate with a buyer like you. Don’t forget that you and the seller set the value when you agree on a price. If you’re less than $15,000 apart, just stick to your guns and you should be able to buy it for somewhere between the asking price and your bid.

(This is taken from

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Good time to fill up the oil tank?

With the price of crude oil hitting a six-month high on Thursday, some people are wondering if they should fill up their oil tanks now before the price gets even higher.

Martin Topor, the owner of Central Oil in Chicopee, advises people not to panic.

He said a gallon of home heating oil is selling for $2.15 per gallon, which is half the price it was this time last year.

Topor told 22News despite the recent spike in the price of oil, there is a 15-year high in inventories and oil prices should come down.

Topor said he does not think people have to run out today and buy their home heating oil.

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Finally, Some Good News On Real Estate!

99% of New Jersey residents are eligible to have their tank removed for FREE!

As we enter 2009 with talk of “green” technology, there is a growing threat that seems to be flying under the radar for most people in the United States.

Oil and fuel tanks that have been long buried beneath lawns on residential homes have become the most widespread threat to our environment, threatening ground water and drinking water supplies. Buried oil tanks raise increasing environmental, safety, legal and economic concerns for home owners because oil leaks can lead to environmental damage and expensive cleanup operations.

Installing a new, above ground indoor oil storage tank involves significant expense. However, the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Remediation, Upgrade and Closure Program provides loans and grants to eligible applicants to help finance project costs for the closure and replacement of a non-leaking residential underground storage tank (UST).

To qualify, consumers must:

1. Have a federal taxable income of less than $250,000;

2. Have a net worth of not more than $500,000 (excluding your primary residence & pension)

3. You spend more than 51% of your income on living expenses (including mortgage, car and insurance payments)

If an oil tank has leaked the cost to clean up contaminated soils can be very significant, But the NJDEP grant program will cover the complete cleanup provided you have been denied by your homeowners insurance policy. While home heating oil tanks are excluded from Federal and NJDEP Regulations about oil storage tank reporting and monitoring, they are addressed by NJDEP regulations once they leak.

More importantly, when you go to sell your home, Banks and Insurance companies make it almost impossible for a buyer to purchase a home with a Underground Storage Tank.

As an environmental services expert, Steve Rich of Steve Rich Environmental Contractors, Inc. shows how this program works.

“First, we have a staff in our office, who will help you fill out all the paper work and help submit it right the first time.” Steve explains, “there are companies who will charge you to fill out the paper work and help with submissions, SREC does not charge, we help every one of our clients.”

Companies must be certified by NJDEP in Tank Closure and sub surface evaluation. What that means is you can’t hire any excavation contractor to complete the work, nor can you do the work yourself and get reimbursed.

“We are committed in making the application process less complicated and you can count on SREC to help you complete the application and get it done right.

“The only thing we need from a NJ customer who meets the criteria is the time to fill out there personal information on the forms, after that, SREC will complete everything that’s needed,

  • Getting approval from the state program.
  • Securing local permits
  • Removing and if applicable, install an new Above Ground Storage Tank.
  • Getting appropriate inspections.
  • Backfilling you property to grade.
  • Most importantly, securing your “Peace of mind”

SREC will expedite paperwork processing and handle all the work from start to finish.”

NJ Homeowners should be pro-active and should take advantage now while funding is available. For more information, visit

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