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  1. #1

    Default Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Howdy,

    I have an underground fuel oil tank and am selling my home. The buyer wants this removed. I am in Upstate NY and wonder is anyone has done this. What is the cost, how to go about it. Permits required, etc.

    The tank is around 15 years old and is in current use (not abandoned). There is no visual or other evidence of leaking or damage.

    Thanks for any info.

    Tobey McNamara


  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    San Francisco Bay Area California (CA)
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    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Tobey,

    About the only choice is to use a backhoe.

    If it's been in there for 15 years, you can be pretty sure that it's probably leaking a little. In-ground tanks have a reputation for leaking. Much preferred to use an above-ground tank.

    The GlueGuy

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2000
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    Location
    russellville, arkansas
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    Kubota M4900, B7510 and RTV

    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    i've assisted in removing several in ground gasoline tanks, all were leaking, but all were done by a local guy with a backhoe; just prior to the epa getting such a foothold on this stuff. in fact, the guy with the backhoe did a couple of the removals, for the tanks, he made big culverts out of them.
    depending on the size and location, i'd consider talking to a local septic tank installer and see if he would take it out.
    heehaw


  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Sep 2000
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    10,271
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Tobey,

    I don't know for sure what is required but I have seen a couple This Old House episodes where they had to take out in ground takes. I think the houses where in MA so the rules could certainly be different but if the EPA has Federal rules then they may not be different. Check with you county to get the real information.

    I backhoe would be the best tool to dig up the tank.

    On the shows the the tanks were cleared of dirt, any liquid was pumped out, then CO2 was pumped into the tank to remove any fumes. A hole was cut into the tank for access and the material was thrown in to soak any remaining fuel. THEN, a man went into the tank to hand clean the tank. The local fire marshal inspected the tank to make sure that it was clean as we as verifying that the tank had not leaked. Of course all of the old fuel, soak material, etc., had to be properly disposed.

    The operation was NOT a dig it up, put it on a truck and haul it away affair. BUT it might be in your area or it could be just as invoved as the TOH episodes. I can distinctly remember two houses where they had to do this. Your county will know for sure.

    Hope this helps...
    Dan McCarty


  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
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    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Tobey, in the past year I sold a house in NY that had an underground oil tank. Right now, all the law requires you to do is pump the tank dry, pour in 50 pounds of drying agent, and seal the tank closed. This is much easier and cheaper than removing the tank.

    Rich


  6. #6

    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Thanks to all of your post & ideas. I like the idea of just filling, plugging and leaving alone. The DEC & EPA getting involved---what kind of good could come from that???

    Do you have a reference for the NY law as to "all that is required?"

    Many thanks...

    Tobey


  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
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    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Tobey, I don't have a copy of the law. In my case, I had a fuel oil company under contract to deliever my oil. I contracted with them to abandon my old tank, and install a new above ground tank. They had a copy of the state law, which I had them send to my attorney. My attorney agreed that this was appropriate, and the copy of the law was then forwarded to the attorney for the buyer of the house, and the attorney for bank where the buyers were getting their mortgage. All attorneys agreed this was all that was necessary under NYS Law. I felt that if the oil company and 3 attorneys were in agreement I was OK. This was all done this past November so it should still be in effect.
    Your local fuel oil company should have a copy of the law.
    In addition, in my case, it was cheaper to have the fuel company do the work, than it would have been if I did it myself.
    Good luck!

    Rich



  8. #8

    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Rich,

    I just spoke with the NY DEC and they told me exactly what you have indicated. I will contact my fuel provider to do a "tank closure in place." I like the idea of the regs being sent to the lawyers. Many thanks for your succinct advice.

    Tobey



  9. #9

    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Rich,

    One more question...my real estate agent just gave me the name of a guy to do the "closure in place." He quoted me $1,500. Is that about what you paid, or should I get more quotes?

    Tobey


  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
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    Kubota L4630, with cab and loader, 1951 Ferguson TO-20, 1986 Ford 5610 with loader

    Default Re: Oil Fuel Tank Removal

    Tobey, when we had it done in November, it cost $1000 to abandon the old tank, and set up a new tank outside. That was on Long Island, where things tend to be more expensive than they are here upstate. $1500 seems high, but if it's the only game in town, it's still alot cheaper than removing the tank. If you can't get a better price, I'd still do it.

    Don't worry about asking more questions. You'll find that here in TBN, we like to help each other.

    Rich


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