Oil Tank

Looking to purchase an older home in Maplewood. Can I call town hall to see if there was or is an oil tank on the property? If there is will they tell us if it was remediated properly? 

If they do not have the information what would be the steps to find out? Thanks. 


The owners of the property would have a certificate from the town if the one there was remediated. I know this because I just had one removed on my property. Your mortgage company/insurance company will want to see it. But yes, it would also be on record with the town.


Best thing to do is ask the seller if they have it and if you can see it... and then confirm with City Hall if you need more reassurance.


If the homeowner has bought in the last 20 years they will have that info. Just ask!


I only say do that because the homeowner will be motivated to react instantly whereas the town has other stuff going on oh oh




There are also companies that scan for tanks. It's a few hundred bucks. You can ask the seller if they've had one done. 


Start with seller/seller's realtor and then the Town.



If there is any question after following up then pay for your own tank scan. 


Going through this right now - your realtor can check with the town to see if there was ever an oil tank and that they have the proper paperwork.  Your attorney will also work on this for you.  However, you'll want to make sure you also pay for a scan of the entire property.  


Best bet is to pay for your own scan.  There have been instances where one tank was removed/remediated and a second in ground tank was found on the property when purchaser's scan was done.


I think it would be best to have a company do a scan for me. Is there a local outfit for this and what is the approximate cost?


Do both.  Insist through your realtor that, if there was a tank, the No Further Action letter issued by the state (not the town) is produced and that you have a copy.  


Then have a scan done, in case there was a second (or even a first) tank that the homeowner is unaware of.




Suggestions on who and cost?


I messaged you, rhw.




And if anyone needs to be entertained, I’ll be happy to repost what our oil tank disaster looked like. 


Words you never want to hear from your oil company: “Sir, you seem to be missing 300 gallons of oil from your underground tank...” 


metaphysician said:
And if anyone needs to be entertained, I’ll be happy to repost what our oil tank disaster looked like. 


Words you never want to hear from your oil company: “Sir, you seem to be missing 300 gallons of oil from your underground tank...” 

  question I must have missed that one... I was so happy the removal of my tank was uneventful.


max_weisenfeld said:
Do both.  Insist through your realtor that, if there was a tank, the No Further Action letter issued by the state (not the town) is produced and that you have a copy.  

I believe the NFA letter is provided to prove that remediation of a leaking tank is complete. I didn't get one when my non-leaking tank was pulled.


kthnry said:
I believe the NFA letter is provided to prove that remediation of a leaking tank is complete. I didn't get one when my non-leaking tank was pulled.

 I did get one when my non leaking tank in Newark was pulled.


I think it depends on when your tank was pulled, but I could be wrong.  More recently, I think all tanks get them.


marylago said:


metaphysician said:
And if anyone needs to be entertained, I’ll be happy to repost what our oil tank disaster looked like. 
  question I must have missed that one... I was so happy the removal of my tank was uneventful.

 Aww, come on, Marylago, you really don’t remember my posting of this...?


Yeah, I hate it when you post those pictures.  Most tank pulls go without problems, and I'm convinced that you have scared some folks away from pulling their tanks.  More delay equals more chance of leaks, and environmental damage.


FilmCarp said:
Yeah, I hate it when you post those pictures.  Most tank pulls go without problems, and I'm convinced that you have scared some folks away from pulling their tanks.  More delay equals more chance of leaks, and environmental damage.

 That’s downright silly. Most tank pulls do go well. Anyone who NEEDS to pull a tank will do so. Anyone who suspects a tank might be present, knows they need to scan for them. I can’t imagine anyone so ‘scared’ that they’ll stick their head in the sand, without worrying it’ll be oil-soaked.

One of the best ways to deal with nightmares like these is to find the humor in it, well after the fact. I refuse to go thru my life wringing my hands, moaning “woe is me”. I’ve been thru much worse than this and still look for the humor in it. 


If you’re convinced I’ve scared some folk off, please give me their names and I’ll be glad to give them a call. 


metaphysician said:


marylago said:


metaphysician said:
And if anyone needs to be entertained, I’ll be happy to repost what our oil tank disaster looked like. 
  question I must have missed that one... I was so happy the removal of my tank was uneventful.
 Aww, come on, Marylago, you really don’t remember my posting of this...?

 Wow! I don't remember but holy crap! Wow again! 


FilmCarp said:
Yeah, I hate it when you post those pictures.  Most tank pulls go without problems, and I'm convinced that you have scared some folks away from pulling their tanks.  More delay equals more chance of leaks, and environmental damage.

 

MOST pulls are uneventful, not all...

People need to be realistic about what MIGHT happen to be able to better plan -  perhaps delaying until after expensive life events (such as kids in college) to avoid being blindsided financially in a (admittedly rare) worst case scenario 


Scully said:
 
MOST pulls are uneventful, not all...
People need to be realistic about what MIGHT happen to be able to better plan -  perhaps delaying until after expensive life events (such as kids in college) to avoid being blindsided financially in a (admittedly rare) worst case scenario 

 Every day that you wait the possibility of polluting our water increases.  It never decreases.  Tanks don't get better.  Most pulls are uneventful.  Don't wait.


IMO, the NJ Legislature needs to remove the liability from homeowners who have underground oil tanks, and offer incentives to have them surveyed and removed.  The current laws are financially ruinous for some homeowners who find things like Metaphysician did, plus a disincentive to remediate unless or until you want to sell.  And then it's depressing on property values of homes that still have tanks.  Most of the people who bought these houses did so before the tanks became an issue in the market, so they can possibly be stuck with a huge expense that they were not originally responsible for.  


FilmCarp said:
Yeah, I hate it when you post those pictures.  Most tank pulls go without problems, and I'm convinced that you have scared some folks away from pulling their tanks.  More delay equals more chance of leaks, and environmental damage.

 That picture motivated me to get my tank pulled. It was clean, and I'm happy I no longer have to worry about it.


Rob_Sandow said:
IMO, the NJ Legislature needs to remove the liability from homeowners who have underground oil tanks, and offer incentives to have them surveyed and removed.  The current laws are financially ruinous for some homeowners who find things like Metaphysician did, plus a disincentive to remediate unless or until you want to sell.  And then it's depressing on property values of homes that still have tanks.  Most of the people who bought these houses did so before the tanks became an issue in the market, so they can possibly be stuck with a huge expense that they were not originally responsible for.  

This times a million.  The NJ Legislature has transferred decades of liability from the oil industry to homeowners.  It needs to be reversed.


N.J. did have a fund to compensate homeowners. Insurance companies also have liability. My mother's house had a leaky tank removed. Oil spread into the water table. The bill was over 50k. Her liability was $500. The deductible.


Check your insurance company's agent before you worry about something for which you have low liability.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:
N.J. did have a fund to compensate homeowners. Insurance companies also have liability. My mother's house had a leaky tank removed. Oil spread into the water table. The bill was over 50k. Her liability was $500. The deductible.


Check your insurance company's agent before you worry about something for which you have low liability.

Most (if not all) insurance companies have dropped coverage of oil tanks.  Mine did many years ago, I should have had it removed right after we purchased our house but I didn't know it would become such a huge problem. 




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