I come to you all for guidance and advice on a property that I am currently under contract for. The property is a two family near Journal Square Jersey City NJ. During the oil sweep testing we were made aware of a 550 gallon tank in front of the property under cement. According the the city the tank has been foam filled back in 2002. The seller is not willing to remove tank and is asking to take it as is. Am I taking too much risk by taking it with the tank? What is the likely hood of it being contaminated if it has already been decommissioned? I am fine with removing the tank once we close, I am afraid of being responsible for remediation costs to remove contamination if any. Please share your thoughts.
Have you personally talked to the city about it? I would try to see the permit/inspection sticker to make sure it passed free and clear.
Also, here is a link on some info about UST's in New Jersey:
You can test the soil around it to make sure there is no contamination, but sometimes stirring the land when you remove can cause contamination, so that's a risk. If it was properly decommissioned with permits and inspections, leaving it there is also an option.
Soil testing will be quite a challenge since the tank is below concrete. It's highly advisable that you do the soil test, but be aware that the cost associate with doing it will include concrete removal and putting down new concrete. Could be in the thousand dollar range for getting it done, or above. The seller may not want you to do this. I would never purchase a property without knowing full well what the situation is with an UST.
Based on my experience I say get the tank removed. We had a situation in Kenilworth where a tank was decommissioned in the late 90s with the proper paperwork, permit ETC. The seller swore that everything was legit and we did not need to do anything further in regards to the decommissioned tank. However our investors insisted on removing the tank before closing. The seller agreed that we will pay for the cost of removal. However if there was any contamination, he would be responsible for it. Sure enough when we removed the tank, there was contamination. It was about $9,000 worth of clean up that had to be done before we closed. So I say offer to pay for the tank removal yourself BEFOFE you close. But if there's any contamination, the seller will pay for it.
@Dror Refaeli Definitely get it tested and removed. There are companies who if their tests come back clean will guarantee the price for removal so that should cap your exposure. I just did this on a property in JC a few months back and am glad I did.
I’d be very cautious. I had a decommissioned oil tank when I bought my property, there was no true standard to decommissioning an oil tank, sometimes they filled them with sand etc, there could still be oil in the tank... too risky with the EPA, that’s one leap of faith I stay away from
When we were doing an oil tank sweep on the last property we acquired the company we used offered to do a drill and probe which wouldn’t disturb the cement too much. It was an additional $250.