Hidden Costs of Oil Tank Removal and What to Watch Out For

When it comes to oil tank removal, cost can be a big factor for many homeowners. Whether you’re looking to renovate your home or you want to make an energy-efficient upgrade, planning ahead for possible costs can help you feel better prepared for this project. Here, Care Environmental Remediation Services provides some insights into oil tank removal in New Jersey and the hidden expenses that may be associated with this process.

Preparing for Tank System Closures

Many homeowners who make the switch from oil to another type of heating system, or make the switch from an underground oil tank to an above ground oil tank, plan to remove the tank entirely.  Years ago, removal wasn’t always the most cost-effective option. So some homeowners arranged to have their tanks “abandoned in place,” meaning that the tank system is fully decommissioned, but it’s not removed from the site.  Although this was less expensive at the time, these tanks are now being removed to eliminate any environmental liability.

A remediation service provider can advise on the removal process. Homeowners will also want to review their homeowner’s insurance policy and their tank warranty if they have one. Some policies will provide cost-share assistance for remediation.

Understanding the Regulations and Fees

In New Jersey, all underground storage tanks are classified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) as “regulated” or “unregulated.” Heating oil tanks that have a capacity of 2,000 gallons or less, or of any size used only to heat a residential building, are “unregulated.” Most home heating oil tanks in NJ fall under the Unregulated Heating Oil Tank (UHOT) Program. To close an unregulated tank, a homeowner must pay a service provider that holds an NJDEP underground storage tank (UST) certification in tank closure.   Heating oil tanks require municipal permits and inspection which incur additional fees.  The heating oil inside the tank requires proper disposal which will incur additional costs.  Planning ahead, stopping automatic delivery and using up heating oil before converting to another heating system will save costs.

When a homeowner decides to remove a tank from their property, in addition to paying for a professional to take care of the project, if the tank has leaked then additional costs are added to the project. The homeowner will need to cover the cost of sampling and testing to check if the soil surrounding the tank is contaminated. If the service provider finds that the tank has leaked and caused soil contamination, they will need to perform site remediation, which may include:

  • Excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil
  • Soil and groundwater sampling and testing
  • In situ chemical treatment of contaminated soil
  • Site restoration
  • Subsurface Evaluator (SSE) Services

The remediation process will also include required reporting to NJDEP, which incurs an additional cost. The homeowner and service provider will need to submit a UHOT system remediation form, pay a state filing fee, and provide a copy of all the remediation documentation.

Schedule a Consultation

Upgrading your home’s heating system shouldn’t be a stressful process. Do your research ahead of time so that you know the oil tank removal cost and requirements. If you need a reliable service provider to close your home heating oil tank, call Care Environmental Remediation Services —our team has completed thousands of UST closures in Northwestern NJ and the surrounding area. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.