these rules are not mandated by the United States Environmental
Protection Agency...why did New York think they should create such
laws for "home owner's heating oil tanks"? What was the problem they
were trying to solve? Home owner's tanks have nothing to do with the
pollution caused by gas stations leaking gasoline into the ground.
The problem was probably - leaking tanks. They contaminate the groundwater.
Which can work its way into wells and streams. When i walk in the ravine
near me, I can smell the oil in the water where the storm drains flow down a
steep section of pipe and gets well aerated before entering the creek.
Drain it, dig down to the top, cut off the top, fill the first 3-6" or so
with cheap kitty litter to absorb whatever residue is left, fill with
sand/gravel/your mother-in-law/whatever, backfill with soil, reseed, what
tank? It may not be the best way to do it - but it's better than nothing
and a lot cheaper than having some environmental company come in and do it.
It's not like the NYSDEC has a master file of every underground tank for
every house built decades ago, nor is the oil tank police out patrolling
looking for people decommissioning tanks themselves. Highly unlikely your
neighbors are gonna turn you in for a backyard project.
I could be wrong but I have heard that in some juristictions oil suppliers
are being forced to give the authorities a list of all their past and
present customers and many of those lists go back many years. Other posters
have almost made comments about not being able to sell the property and walk
away from your liability, the new owners can come after you if they find the
buried tank and it really doesn't matter if you knew about it or not. The
law may seem unfair but doesn't the little guy always get it in the ear?
I think this is one of those situations where it's best to do it right now
and not have to worry about getting caught up in a sticky situation years
down the road. As I said in my earlier post my son is an insurance adjuster
who has seen clean up bills iin excess of $800,000 from the leaking of a
small residential oil tank and that's not an urban legend.
Years ago some home insurance policies would cover you for this type of
situation but apparently most new policies exclude this type of coverage.
"I think this is one of those situations where it's best to do it right
and not have to worry about getting caught up in a sticky situation
down the road. "
That's correct. If John listens to guys like Mark, with his advice to
just fill it with sand, he's likely looking for big trouble. When it's
time to sell the property, any buyer with common sense is going to be
alerted to issues of existing underground tanks by the likes of
realtors and home inspectors and it's very likely going to be a
condition in the contract that the seller stipulates they either never
had an underground tank or to prove it was properly handled.
Companies that do this professionally test the existing tank first, to
verify that it was not leaking. Then, they pump it out, cut it open to
remove sludge, and then either fill it or remove it. At the end of
this, you have certification that it was dealt with properly and there
is no contamination issue. And I would carefully evaluate the cost to
have it removed versus filled. If it can be removed for not a whole
lot more, I'd go with that, as it's going to be even more attractive to
a future buyer.
yep, you said the magic words..."make it go away"...the problem that
is! Being in the construction industry, specifically building fuel
storage and dispensing systems I get calls all the time from Real
Estate Agents who looked beside someones house or looked behind the
bushes and saw the telltale signs of an underground tank...the vent
pipe or the filler pipe protruding above the surface of the ground...I
wonder how many "resourceful" McGiver like homeowners anticipate this
occurance before the Real Estate Agent starts snooping around their
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