Underground Storage Tanks

Date: September 1995
Subject: Removal/Abandonment of Underground Storage Tanks Regulated by DEP
Reference: NJ.A.C. 5:23-3.11B

When tanks listed on page one of Bulletin 95-1C are to be placed out of service a prior approval is always required by the Department of Environmental Protection. The approval is granted after the applicant submits a closure approval plan that is acceptable to the DEP. The DEP issues a single sheet closure approval. This closure approval must be submitted to the enforcing agency prior to the issuance of a demolition permit. Code officials may also request a copy of the closure approval plan so that the specific techniques that are being employed to remove/abandon the tank are available.

Approval for Abandonment

When contamination is found, it should be reported to the DEP hotline. Often DEP will require that contaminated soil be taken to an appropriate facility. As long as the excavation is filled (presumably with clean material from another site) a certificate of approval can be issued, even if mounds of contaminated soil remain on site. If new construction is proposed on a site where contamination from a tank was discovered, the owner has two options. The owner can wait for a "No Further Action" letter from DEP or the owner can proceed at his or her own peril. A "No Further Action" letter means that the soil samples taken reveal no contamination and that any contaminated soil has been properly disposed of. If an owner chooses to proceed at his or her own peril, additional in-situ remediation methods may be required.

The following checklist is provided as an aid to code officials. It is recommended that code officials use the checklist and make it part of the permit file.

Note: This bulletin supersedes bulletin 88-8

Checklist for the Closure of Underground Storage Tank

Owner of the Tank: ____________________________________

Address of Site: ____________________________________

Lot and Block No. ____________________________________

Certified Contractor: ____________________________________

The items on this checklist are practices currently accepted by the Department of Environmental Protection. Further explanation can be found in Appendix B of NFiPA 30 and the American Petroleum Institute's Bulletin 1604 entitled "Recommended Practice for Abandonment or Removal of Used Underground Storage Tanks."

____ Owner/contractor reports that the tank was properly cleaned of residual material.

____ Owner/contractor reports that all residual material including water used in cleaning, was properly containerized for proper off-site disposal.

____ Inspection reveals that all affected piping was disconnected/capped/removed.

____ For abandonment in place, tank was observed to be filled and sealed with an appropriate inert material.

____ For removal:

____ Owner/contractor has determined that the tank has been disposed of properly.

____ The tank was rendered free of flammable vapors (e.g. contractor has tested tank with proper monitoring equipment such as an explosive gave indicator (EGI) explosion meter).

____ *The tank excavation observed to be free of obvious evidence of contamination (e.g. odors, stained soil, free product).

____ Contaminated soil is properly staged on plastic and covered with plastic or equivalent.

____ * The removed tank was free of obvious corrosion holes or structural failure.

* If no, then immediately contact the 24-hour DEP Hotline at 609-292-7172 to report a discharge.

It is recommended that an excavation, which indicates contamination, remain open for investigation, when possible. It should, however, be secured for safety reasons.