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Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Oil tank sweep legal requirements
Oil tank sweep legal requirements

O‍il tank removal laws in NJ

An oil tank sweep is an inspection of a residential or commercial property for an underground heating oil tank. The purpose of the inspection is to determine whether or not there is an abandoned or remediated oil tank, which is a huge liability to a prospective buyer. Currently, in New Jersey there is no specific law requiring the removal of an oil tank, however, the cost of removal, soil sampling, and remediation falls on the owner of the property.

In the state of New Jersey they estimate over 100,000 oil tanks are still buried and more then 90 percent of oil tanks are made of steel which over time will eventually rust and leak. While there is no direct law requiring the removal of an abandoned oil tank, most mortgage companies will not close on a loan without a full sweep being performed. Your lawyer will also strongly advise against not having a sweep performed and will require a waiver signed if you choose not to perform the sweep releasing them of any malpractice liability. These environmental hazards are of such a concern The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) released Bulletin 95-1B, the division of codes and standards outlining the rules and regulations.

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Once you purchase a property you legally own everything above and below the surface.

550 gallon oil tank buried  beneath an HVAC unit.
550 gallon oil tank buried beneath an HVAC unit.

Performing an oil tank sweep is an simple and straight-forward process

An oil tank sweep can be performed usually in under 1 hour and can be scheduled along side your other inspections at the same time and on the same day. ( home inspection, sewer/septic, chimney, termite inspections etc.) The tank sweep should always be performed by a reputable and fully insured company, providing you with a full report of there findings. NJoiltanksweep carries general liability, environmental, and error and omission insurance protecting the client from future liability.

So, now that you know what an oil tank sweep is, you may be wondering if it's something you need to worry about if you're buying a home in New Jersey. The answer is yes! If you're buying a home you should always make sure to have a fully insured company perform a oil tank sweep and provide you with a written report. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the previous heating system in your new home is not leaking and will not require any expensive removal or remediation down the road.

Call us with any questions or concerns you might have we are always happy to help!

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