Posts Tagged tank removal problems

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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Do-It-Yourself Warning: Self-Disposing of Oil Tank Can Be a Problem!

For any of a variety of reasons, you may at some point decide to switch from your current oil-fired furnace to one fueled by electricity or natural gas. Part of the changeover process is the removal or abandonment of the old fuel oil tank that supplied raw oil to the furnace, and there are some very strict procedures for dealing with these tanks properly.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not specifically regulate residential oil tanks unless they are leaking, and if you have knowledge that an oil tank is leaking you are required by law to report the situation immediately. Different state Environmental Protection Agencies and some local jurisdictions also have regulation ordinances in place, so your first step following an oil furnace changeover should be to contact your local city or county building department – they can tell you if local ordinances are in effect, and direct you to the proper agency.

While you are not actually required to do anything with a non-leaking tank, aging tanks can present a variety of potential health, environmental, and liability problems, so it’s still in your best interest to permanently and properly abandon the tank as soon as possible – especially if it’s located underground. This process, called “decommissioning,” involves draining any remaining fuel oil from the tank and then either removing the tank from the ground or filling it with sand. This prevents any possible future contamination from a leak as the tank degrades over time, and it also should eliminate the possibility of the ground sinking or even collapsing if the tank were to corrode through completely and collapse. Even if you do not intend to decommission the tank at this time, you should drain any remaining fuel oil to prevent possible soil contamination if the tank should rupture.

You can perform the work yourself, or you can hire it out to a contractor. The cost for decommissioning a fuel-oil tank typically starts at around $500 and goes up from there, depending on what’s involved. If you have a leaking tank that has contaminated the soil, EPA-regulated cleanup can easily run into the thousands.

Another issue with old oil tanks comes up if you are selling your home. Once you become aware of the existence of the tank, most states require that you and your real estate agent disclose its presence to the new buyers. Even at that, under the quirks of some of today’s laws and with the propensity for lawsuits in every conceivable situation, you will probably continue to have some potential liability for cleanup costs in the event of a current or future leak – even long after you’ve sold the house. Also at risk in some situations are any of the previous owners of the house — if the previous owners did not disclose the tank’s presence to you when you bought the house, they often must share liability for leaks, repairs, and cleanup as well.

If you have an oil tank that is no longer in use — whether it’s above or below ground — it is strongly recommended that you talk with your local city or county agencies first to find out about local regulations. If you want to decommission the tank or if you suspect a leak, the next step would then be to contact your local heating oil supplier to get the names of contractors in your area who are licensed for underground tank work, and get them out to take a look.

Once again, if the house is up for sale you need to discuss the situation with your real estate agent – who should, by the way, be fully aware of all laws and liabilities regarding oil tanks and disclosure laws. As a last resort you may also have to discuss things with an attorney if you feel you or the previous owners have some liability. Typically, oil tank situations can be handled with minimum expense and hassle. However, the potential liabilities today can be huge so don’t ignore the situation.

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Chemical removal nearly completed; Site of collapsed tank roof still under air monitoring

Efforts to remove toxic chemicals from a damaged storage tank at Imperial Oil are nearing completion, plant officials say.

Imperial Oil plant staff and external contractors continue to work around the clock to remove chemical product containing benzene from the tank. More than two-thirds of the 2.5 million litres of chemical product has been removed to date. After the floating roof on the tank collapsed on Friday, plant officials issued emergency measures in response to a benzene vapour release.

Residents in the area were asked to take shelter in their homes and close all windows and air intakes. Crews continue to douse the tank with firefighting foam to suppress any evaporation and odours. Air monitoring continues at the site and in the community and results are being shared with the Ministry of Environment and city officials.

Benzene is a component of gasoline and is known to cause cancer. “The product (in the tank) is a chemical feedstock component that contains benzene,” said Imperial Oil spokesperson Julie Ferguson.
There have been no injuries reported or product spilled as a result of this incident, she said. The roof has since been braced by support legs. Crews will continue the cleanup efforts throughout the weekend. There is no timetable for completion. The company is still investigating the cause of the roof collapse.

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