How to Remove an Underground Oil Tank in New Jersey

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Whether you are switching over to natural gas or doing major construction on your property, it is important to handle the removal of your old oil tank in a responsible manner. It is not a job for the do-it-yourselfer. You will need qualified professional help to avoid contaminating the soil or water around the tank, and to dispose properly of the old oil tank and the waste oil it contained.

Things You'll Need

  • Permit from your municipal construction department
  • Licensed contractor
  • Application for the New Jersey Oil Tank Removal Grant Program
  • View the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection list of licensed oil tank removal contractors to help you find one near you (see Resources, below). Interview several contractors. In addition to the New Jersey license for oil tank removal, they should be certified by the Unregulated Heating Oil Tank (UHOT) program. You want to know what procedure they will use to safely remove your oil tank, how they will dispose of it, and whether they will help you apply for a state grant to cover removal and clean-up costs.

  • Apply for a permit from your municipal construction office. Your contractor may do this for you. The construction office will want to know the size and placement of the oil tank, and the procedure your contractor plans to use to remove it.

  • Allow the contractor to perform the removal and clean-up. This begins with marking out any utilities around an underground tank, and excavating it. The contractor pumps out the old oil, cuts open the tank and a worker goes inside and scoops and scrapes out any remaining residue, which they will dispose of at a licensed facility. They disconnect and remove the old tank and dispose of it at a licensed facility. They test the surrounding soil and water for contamination. If all is well, they backfill the hole and provide you with a certificate of removal for your records.

  • Let the contractor handle any necessary clean-up of contaminated soil or water around the old tank. They should be able to help you submit all of the necessary clean-up paperwork to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. They may even be able to help you get a grant to pay for the clean-up.

  • Apply for an oil tank removal grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. You may be eligible to receive up to $5,200 to help defray the cost of removing and disposing of your old oil tank. Some licensed oil tank removal contractors go so far as to guarantee that they can get you approved for this grant. Let the professionals handle the paperwork so that the process goes smoothly.

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