If I am purchasing a property with a underground oil tank in nj and I get the soil tested and the results are clean. Do I have to remove the tank or can I sand fill it ?
No but I highly recommend it. Do not fill it with sand. When you sell it someday buyers will shy away. Just yank it out and put that in your repair costs/purchase price when you crunch the numbers. Make sure you test the area around the piping to make sure that did not leak. Have an out clause if you find oil so you are not stuck with it. No one likes oil tanks.
Mark is spot on - don't take a shortcut, remove and, if necessary, remediate.
We walked away from a 28 unit building a couple of years ago due to two out-of-service USTs which the vendor did not disclose (he was the one who converting the complex to natural gas, so was aware of the oil tanks) and then refused to take responsibility for them.The property remains unsold, but it looks like he is now removing the tanks.
The environmental liability of having unused/old USTs is not something you want. Even if you fill them with sand, unless they have been steam cleaned - which is very unlikely - there will be residual oil in the tanks and lines which will eventually make its way into the soil as the tanks deteriorate.
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