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Old 08-05-2019, 05:16 AM
 
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Has anyone dealt with oil tank excavation in NJ (Middlesex County)? I'm trying to find out how long does it usually take for city inspector to get results of soil test?
We are buying a house and owner is removing underground tank, but unfortunately our timeline was completely obliterated by a city inspector who didn't come to excavation and it had to be postponed. Now we had to delay our closing and it all depends on how long it will take to obtain the results of soil sample...
If it takes a week, we are still ok, but if it's longer we have to get out of current house and move our things to storage
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:55 AM
 
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I have a similar situation now. I hope you were able to close on time. I was told it would take 4 to 6 weeks to get the results.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
545 posts, read 902,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaEva View Post
I have a similar situation now. I hope you were able to close on time. I was told it would take 4 to 6 weeks to get the results.
The city inspector is not the one who collects the soil samples, but they do need to be there on the day the tank is removed to determine whether there are holes in the tank or not. The company that removes the tank will take the samples and send them to the lab. Standard turnaround time to get the soil data is 14 days at most labs. However at additional cost you could request the samples be run on a faster turnaround time. Sometimes as quickly as 24 hours. But that’s usually double the cost at least. If the results come back below the standards I would anticipate you could get a no further action letter from the state NJDEP within 6 to 8 weeks. Assuming the environmental consultant is well organized and efficient. If the results come up above the standard then additional work will be needed and that will take much more time. If the soil results are above standard the most important thing to learn next is whether groundwater is impacted above standards. If it is impacted then insurance often becomes involved and that of course takes a lot more time.

I am an environmental consultant working in this field so feel free to ask any questions. I put together a fairly comprehensive post on the issue of home heating oil tanks a few years back on this forum, which you may find helpful. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Cranford NJ
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So, you're saying that one could obtain an NFA from the DEP without reporting a release and having a claim open, if the numbers are below remediation levels?
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
545 posts, read 902,626 times
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Originally Posted by Sergio M View Post
So, you're saying that one could obtain an NFA from the DEP without reporting a release and having a claim open, if the numbers are below remediation levels?
If there are no holes in the tank and no evidence of a leak, then the NJDEP Incident Number doesn’t need to be called. Therefore there wouldn’t be a case or NFA needed. If there are holes or stained/odiferous soil, then the hotline must be called and a case assigned. Then samples, etc. down the road of remediation. Once a case is assigned, then reporting is needed and a NFA is needed.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:10 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiru View Post
The city inspector is not the one who collects the soil samples, but they do need to be there on the day the tank is removed to determine whether there are holes in the tank or not. The company that removes the tank will take the samples and send them to the lab. Standard turnaround time to get the soil data is 14 days at most labs. However at additional cost you could request the samples be run on a faster turnaround time. Sometimes as quickly as 24 hours. But that’s usually double the cost at least. If the results come back below the standards I would anticipate you could get a no further action letter from the state NJDEP within 6 to 8 weeks. Assuming the environmental consultant is well organized and efficient. If the results come up above the standard then additional work will be needed and that will take much more time. If the soil results are above standard the most important thing to learn next is whether groundwater is impacted above standards. If it is impacted then insurance often becomes involved and that of course takes a lot more time.

I am an environmental consultant working in this field so feel free to ask any questions. I put together a fairly comprehensive post on the issue of home heating oil tanks a few years back on this forum, which you may find helpful. Good luck!
Kiru, thank you for your response this is very helpful. Unfortunately, the situation that we're facing is a bit different. The company that did the digging needs to come back for the second time to collect more samples and send them to the lab. This will delay our closing for another 6 weeks at least and that only if there is no contamination. I was told this is a standard procedure and that the DEP has not been involved yet, even though the tank had a small whole in it. This is all very confusing to me, why not collect all the samples at once, send them to the lab and be done with it? Why wait 4 more weeks to collect more samples?
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
545 posts, read 902,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaEva View Post
Kiru, thank you for your response this is very helpful. Unfortunately, the situation that we're facing is a bit different. The company that did the digging needs to come back for the second time to collect more samples and send them to the lab. This will delay our closing for another 6 weeks at least and that only if there is no contamination. I was told this is a standard procedure and that the DEP has not been involved yet, even though the tank had a small whole in it. This is all very confusing to me, why not collect all the samples at once, send them to the lab and be done with it? Why wait 4 more weeks to collect more samples?


If there was a hole in the tank, then the NJDEP Incident Number should have been called by the tank removal company. If that hasn't been done, they are not operating as they should. Ask for the NJDEP Hotline Incident Number, to make sure they're acting in good faith. It sounds like they removed the tank, took samples, and are now telling you they need more samples? Have they discussed the results from the first round of samples? The only reason they should have to take more samples is if the results were above standards and they're trying to find the extent of the contamination, or if something happened such that the samples aren't usable for some reason (lab error, sampling error, etc.). They should explain to you why they need these samples, especially if they expect you to pay for them!


If you'd like to PM your results from the first round, I can take a look and let you know whether they exceed the standards. As to the additional samples, find out why they're collecting them - if it's due to lab error or sampling error, I'd make them pay for the samples, but I'd also make them pay to rush the samples, explaining that their error is jeopardizing your real estate transaction. If it's because the samples were above standards, then additional remediation is needed and yes, that will delay you quite a bit, unfortunately.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:55 PM
 
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I am actually not the seller but the buyer. Seller wasn't giving us all the information, therefore the confusion. I will PM you.
Thank you!
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:05 PM
 
2 posts, read 420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiru View Post
The city inspector is not the one who collects the soil samples, but they do need to be there on the day the tank is removed to determine whether there are holes in the tank or not. The company that removes the tank will take the samples and send them to the lab. Standard turnaround time to get the soil data is 14 days at most labs. However at additional cost you could request the samples be run on a faster turnaround time. Sometimes as quickly as 24 hours. But that’s usually double the cost at least. If the results come back below the standards I would anticipate you could get a no further action letter from the state NJDEP within 6 to 8 weeks. Assuming the environmental consultant is well organized and efficient. If the results come up above the standard then additional work will be needed and that will take much more time. If the soil results are above standard the most important thing to learn next is whether groundwater is impacted above standards. If it is impacted then insurance often becomes involved and that of course takes a lot more time.

I am an environmental consultant working in this field so feel free to ask any questions. I put together a fairly comprehensive post on the issue of home heating oil tanks a few years back on this forum, which you may find helpful. Good luck!
Kiru
Can I ask you for your advice?
We had the same situation, the company removed our underground oil tank. There were small holes in the tank. They immediately let NJDEP know and put a lien on the house till we fix it and told us to apply for a grant to get it fixed, or they can fix for $30,000! I have the soil results, but I dont know if they are good or bad. I cant read them.
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
545 posts, read 902,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parveen78 View Post
Kiru
Can I ask you for your advice?
We had the same situation, the company removed our underground oil tank. There were small holes in the tank. They immediately let NJDEP know and put a lien on the house till we fix it and told us to apply for a grant to get it fixed, or they can fix for $30,000! I have the soil results, but I dont know if they are good or bad. I cant read them.
Sure PM me your results and I’ll let you know what they mean. Depending on how much info the company has, the $30k could be reasonable or it could be a scam. Have they tested groundwater too or just soil?
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