Call it removal, closure or decommissioning, the procedures to remove an underground storage tank are regulated, just like ongoing usage of the tank when it’s active.
Whether you’re planning to remove a single underground storage tank or a multi-tank system, you’ll need to obtain necessary permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (or your state’s equivalent agency). Some municipalities such as New York City have additional rules and may require additional permits, too.
Be sure to call Dig NY or your local utility locator service before any digging begins, to avoid damage that will cost you more and delay your tank removal project.
There are direct costs associated with underground
storage tank removal.
These procedures are designed to ensure that once your underground storage tank is gone, no contamination is left behind:
- Empty and clean the tank.
- Inspect it for any signs of damage that could have caused a leak.
- Remove the tank.
- Visually inspect the surrounding area for any signs of leakage.
- Take soil samples for testing and analysis.
If no contamination is found after your underground storage tank is removed, all you have to do is fill the hole and re-landscape the area – a separate budget item — and file your official paperwork.
But if problems are detected, you’ll need to prepare a remediation plan. That’s another cost, as is the remediation work itself. If you’re the property owner, you could be responsible for all or much of that expense, and it can be very high, depending on the type of contamination that’s found and the extend to which it has spread.
You may not have to physically remove your underground
Under some circumstances, you may be allowed to abandon your tank in place rather than removing it, a procedure that is significantly less expensive than physical removal. As long as your soil testing indicates the area around your tank is free of contaminants, you can simply fill your tank with an inert solid material such as sand or concrete slurry. Check with your local authorities to learn if this procedure is allowed where your tank is located.
This isn’t a job for your employees.
It’s a construction project. A plumbing project. A scientific investigation. By law, underground storage tank removal must be completed by certified excavation technicians, because it’s risky work, with a real threat of fire or explosion if not handled properly. Soil sampling and testing must be performed by certified professionals, too, to ensure accuracy and completeness.
An environmental engineering firm can answer all your questions and guide you through the process. Their geologists, hydrogeologists, engineers and other experts have the education and experience working with hazardous substances – and all the right licenses and certifications — to ensure you get the right contractors and an efficient removal plan all the way through proper disposal of your old tank. No risk of costly errors or omissions.
They can supervise the work, personally conduct soil testing and analysis, prepare reports and intervene on your behalf with regulatory officials to smooth the way. They can develop an effective and cost-effective remediation plan, if necessary. A single point of contact always ensures better communication. And a streamlined project could even save you money in the long run.
What’s your time worth?
You could try to figure all this out for yourself, but that will take you away from your primary responsibilities. And distractions could actually show up on your bottom line – negatively – thanks to delayed work or lost sales while you were focused on your underground storage tank removal. Click here to learn more about ourunderground storage tank removals.
Hazardous chemicals or petroleum products always present a risk of contamination that could harm people and the environment, including precious groundwater. That’s a cost nobody wants to live with. Hiring environmental engineering professionals to handle your underground storage tank removal is a smart business decision.
What’s your peace of mind worth?