Qualifications for Underground Storage Tank Abandonment

For many property owners with unused storage tanks buried under their land, the best option might seem to be yanking it out of the ground and replacing it with soil. However, given all that goes into removing an unused oil or fuel storage tank, the most practical option might just be to leave it where it is.

If an oil or fuel tank is no longer needed, it can sometimes be left where it is, which is otherwise referred to as abandoned in place. What this means is the tank is decommissioned but is not removed from its original location. Abandonment in place requires careful handling to ensure that the tank is empty of all fuel and vapors and that the surrounding soil and groundwater are safe. Here, Care Environmental Remediation Services details the qualifications that should be met regarding storage tank abandonment services

Understanding Storage Tank Abandonment

Many facilities, businesses, and residences use underground storage tanks to store either petroleum-based or other hazardous substances, such as gasoline, heating oil, and diesel fuel, as well as a variety of industrial chemicals. When these tanks are no longer in use, they must be removed from service and dealt with properly. This is because the longer an underground storage tank system exists underground, the more likely soil contamination will occur.

One of the most common and cost-effective means of removing an underground storage tank from services is abandonment in place. Contrary to what the name might imply, abandonment in place doesn’t simply mean leaving an underground storage tank where it is and then being done with it. Qualifications must be met and steps must be completed for an underground storage tank system to be left where it is rather than removing it entirely. The process for underground storage tank abandonment in place involves the following:


In almost all cases, state environmental agencies are the regulatory authorities responsible for overseeing underground storage tank abandonment. In New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection maintains underground storage tank abandonment standards. Before any work can be performed, a permit to abandon the underground tank must be obtained.

Preparing the Site

Before excavation begins, there are mandatory steps to complete to achieve environmental compliance and satisfy health and safety standards. These steps involve identifying the contents of the tank while eliminating any risk of leaks, spills, contamination, and anything else that could endanger the public.

Emptying the Tank

To achieve proper abandonment in place, a licensed contractor must first evacuate the storage tank of any liquid or residue. Proper disposal procedures must be followed because the waste found inside is often considered flammable and hazardous.

Filling the Tank with Inert Material

When abandoning an underground storage tank system, it must be filled with a harmless, chemically inactive solid, like sand, foam, or concrete. This makes certain the surrounding soil and groundwater are safe from potential contaminants.

Report Writing

Before the abandonment-in-place process is complete, a report must be completed. This final report will summarize the on-site activities that took place, as well as any results or findings. A copy of the report is given to the appropriate authorities and the property owner.

Tank Abandonment Services at Care Environmental Remediation Services

An unused fuel tank buried under your property is a huge environmental risk. Rather than having the tank removed completely, property owners can opt to take the necessary steps to leave it where it is. As a licensed contractor, Care Environmental Remediation Services is capable of safely and effectively providing tank abandonment services to clients throughout Northern NJ, including Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren Counties.

Our experienced team will perform all the required site remediation processes to ensure your underground storage system is properly closed. Our expertise also enables us to remove any underground storage tanks that were previously abandoned. To learn more about our tank removal and tank abandonment services, contact us today to schedule a consultation.