Hello BP community.
I’m dealing with removing an underground oil tank from my property in Newton NJ.
I hired a company to do the removal/remediation MARKSMEN ENTERPRISES, LLC.
The initial estimate they gave me was 8K, and they said there could be potential additional cost depending of what they find. Now, they are asking for another 9K to finish the work that is needed to get clearance from the state. Does that make sense? Anyone with experience, please advise.
Thanks in advance.
That sounds bananas expensive, especially if they havent found anything yet... let me check some of my transactions, I feel like the cost should be more like 1500 to 3000, will wrap back around to this
Was there contamination? Or no known yet?
Yes, they found contamination
Ohh - gotcha, yeah I just had a contamination that cost the sellers (I was the agent) about 10k to get done.
Basic tank getting pulled should be about 2-3k
Contamination will depend on how deep it is / how much needs to be removed and put back in and location, ect...
I would still say 17k total is high, if you want some other companies to call, DM me would be happy to provide some to shop the quote
@Konstantin Boubev The removal cost sounds way out of line, typically well known companies like Brinks will remove the tank for a couple of grand. Contamination is where it can get a bit pricey, when the contamination remediation is said to be complete make sure that the property gets a clean bill of health from the state.
I used a company called ERC for an oil tank removal twice. First flip & second flip in Newark & Irvington NJ. The cost was $1800 plus the cost of the permits (around $200) for a total of 2k. Let me know if you need any additional information.
Removal should top out at $2,000. When there is contamination it usually runs about $7,500. There is no scenario that you hit $17,000 unless the oil has hit a movable source like water or has contaminated a neighbor's property. When I buy homes with tanks I account $10,000. You are definitely getting swindled and should of only been paying $1,800-$2,00- until contamination was found. Once that is found, be sure you get the 75-page booklet on the results of the testing from the EPA. If not, you are being swindled again.
If they find the tank has leaked the costs go up big time . They may have to remove 5 tons of soil , they may have to remove 50 tons . It has to be hauled to a certified disposal site or taken and burned at a special facility . Hauling can be considered Hazmat . None of this is cheap .
@Matthew Paul What he said. While the sweep is around $200 to $300, removal a couple of thousand, a contamination issue could be anywhere from $5k to $100k. I did a lot of research on the forums and talking with my team about this as I'm in an UST area as well. The worst they've seen is $100k for residential and a million for commercial properties. Sounds like you got a bit of ruined soil going on.
$100,000 is only possible if it hits a water source. The chances of going over $10,000 on a residential property in NJ are very slim because most tanks are 550 gallons are smaller and very few, to any tanks, have more than pinhole leaks. Even in the case of a large leak, it is usually concentrated to one specific area. These are leaks, not spills. The chances of going over $10,000 are probably less than .01%
@Jonathan Greene I recently had an oil tank removed last April. I held back 2k because the paperwork wasn’t completed. The company is a 1 man guy who subbed some of the work out to a big environmental company, unsure of what exactly. The guy said the paperwork is finally complete, and I have to send in the $400 for the final state paperwork. My question is - what do I have to look for before paying this guy the $2k I held back? He stated the results came back clean and everything is fine. I just want to make sure he’s not an schemer. This business seems very very shady.
@Steve Orluski you need to see the report that it came back clean, but I'm a little confused as to what happened. When the tank is removed, it is either a leak or no leak per the town when the come out. If the town confirms there is leakage, you have to run the tests and do remediation. That test could come up clean. The town has to fail the tank when there are any holes that could have had leakage and when they remove and scrape the tank sometimes they make pinholes when doing it. The whole thing is a racket for some companies, but there are good ones.
I've never heard of a one-person tank removal company. It's not possible. How much total did you pay? Was there any remediation required and was it done? What paperwork have you received so far? To close everything you will need a NFA from the town saying that No Further Action is necessary on the tank. That's what you will need to sell the house eventually. Give me some more info on the costs. It could be ok, but there are a few fishy parts here.
@Matthew Paul the oil contamination remediation industry is a complete racket. The amount of pollution created by trucking all that dirt vs just keeping the oil there is obscene.
@Konstantin Boubev can you have the tank filled with foam and left in place? Also, is there oil tank insurance that comes with the property? Here in Washington State there is a state wide fund that is used to deal with oil tank leaks; I believe that the fund is paid for by a tax on heating oil
@Parker Eberhard You could say so . But I work with a guy that has all the licenses and equipment to do it . It isnt cheap . All the rules and regulations make it more expensive .
Just to be clear, I did review @Konstantin Boubev 's paperwork from the company and there was a groundwater issue where the testing was over the legal limit. So, in this case, the pricing is probably completely legit.
@Parker Eberhard I'm supposed to get refunded by the state once the work gets completed. I have my application ready, but need to completed the work. I'm not sure how much they will refund.
I know of at least 2 houses in Morris County (one in Wharton, the other in Succasunna) that had more than $50k in oil remediation costs.
As far as reimbursement, last time I looked (recently), there was a 4 yr. backlog in payments. I.e., you probably won't get paid until 4 yrs. from now.
@Sherry Norman Yes, my contractor said the same thing ..at least 4 years.
OP-I'm not gonna speculate on the quotes as the extent of the contamination is unknown and not my area of expertise anyway.
If you'd like 2nd opinion, DM me for contractors.