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NJDEP HOTS  aka Heating Oil Tank Regulation Changes

Posted by david sulock on Oct 16, 2018 7:49:10 AM

Residential heating oil tanks are regulated in New Jersey by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). 

On August 6, 2018, the NJDEP adopted new rules governing the administrative and technical requirements for the remediation of a discharge of heating oil from Heating Oil Tank Systems (HOTS) (N.J.A.C. 7:26F). These proposed rule changes have been in the works for years. The old program was called UHOT, the new program is called HOTS.  Tank that fall into the NJDEP HOTS regulations are:

Residential Aboveground heating oil tanks (ASTs). 

Small Aboveground non-residential heating oil tank systems.

Underground Heating Oil Tank System (2,000 gallons or less in capacity).

 NJDEP HOTS

Generally speaking most HOTS tanks are residential sites.

The idea behind a system for residential sites is to be able to expedite leaks associated with these tanks, as issues with leaking oil tanks arise during real estate transactions.  Ultimately following the HOTS program for a leaking tank will provide the RP (responsible party) typically the owner with a No Further Action  letter (NFA).

 

The main changes in the UHOT to HOTS regulations are as follows:

  • When soils are present above NJDEP standards beneath a residential structure, up to 15 cubic yards can remain in place, which would require a HOTS deed notice. In short, the presence of the contamination would be noted on the deed.  Some buyers may be turned off by this contamination remaining which could affect the value of the property.
  • Remedial excavation bottom samples are now determined by the size of the tank as opposed as to the size of the excavation. Previously the number of bottom samples was based on the excavation size J.A.C. 7:26F-3.4(a)2i(1) “ Collect one sample for every six feet of tank length or fraction thereof.  For a 550 gallon oil tank you would take four sidewalls and one bottom.  You would need additional bottom samples if the tank is longer than 6 feet.
  • If a remedial excavation extends to within two feet of groundwater or bedrock, a ground water investigation is required;
  • If groundwater is not encountered to a depth of 35 into bedrock after 24 hours, no further groundwater remediation is required.
  • Confirmatory groundwater sampling is not required if initial ground water results are below the NJDEP Ground Water Quality Standards (GWQS) upon completion of the remediation.

Curren has completed thousands of tank projects, both simple tank removals and remediations.  If you have a HOTS question, contact our office, we offer a free initial consultation.

Monday to Friday 8 AM to 5 PM

888-301-1050

 

NJDEP HOTS

 

Tags: NJ HOTS, NJDEP HOTS

Is my residential heating oil tank regulated in New Jersey?

Posted by david sulock on Sep 25, 2018 8:43:32 AM

Is my residential heating oil tank regulated in New Jersey?

 

Heating oil tanks are unregulated by the NJDEP in New Jersey as they used to be called UHOTs (Unregulated heating oil tanks).   Work performed on abandoning an oil tank is governed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Bulletin No.: 95-1B. Discharges or leaks from these tanks are regulated by the  Department of Environmental Protection’s Unregulated Heating Oil Tank (UHOT) Program.

 NJ oil tank removal

Let us not get ahead of ourselves.  First, to work on a heating oil tank in New Jersey you must be licensed by the NJDEP. The NJDEP certifies individuals and firms that perform services on unregulated heating oil tanks.  To be technical, N.J.A.C. 7:14B defines unregulated heating oil tanks as, “any one or combination of tanks, including appurtenant pipes, lines, fixtures, and other related equipment, used to contain an accumulation of heating oil for on-site consumption in a residential building, or those tanks with a capacity of 2,000 gallons or less used to store heating oil for on-site consumption in a nonresidential building.”

To say it in English and following a federal definition, an underground storage tank is defined as a tank the volume of which, including the volume of the appurtenant pipes, lines, fixtures and other related equipment, is 10 percent or more below the ground.

It is generally recommended that if you own out-of-service underground heating oil tank, it is a good practice to remove the tank.   Takes removed from service such as during gas conversions, rarely ever get placed back into service.   Tanks older than 20 to 30 years are also recommended to be removed as nothing lasts forever. Although tank abandonment is allowed, there has been an increase in previously abandoned tanks being removed. These tank removals are driven by insurance and mortgage companies that do not want the liability associated with underground heating oil tanks, as these tanks can leak and remediation can be thousands of dollars.   

 Tank previously abandoned in place with sand

New Jersey has construction codes and The Uniform Construction Code (UCC) covers oil tanks, but this code is not a retrofit code, and therefore, it does not deal with tanks that have been abandoned for extended periods of time. The UCC applies when a tank is taken out of service as part of a construction project or when the tank has become unsafe. If a project results in an underground tank being out of service for a period of one year, (such as an oil to gas conversion), as per Section 5704.2.13.1.3 of the International Fire Code (IFC), the tank must be removed from the ground in accordance with Section 5704.2.14 of the IFC or abandoned in place in accordance with Section 5704.2.13.1.4 of the IFC. If an aboveground tank is out of service for a period of one year, as per Section 5704.13.2.3 of the IFC, the tank shall be removed in accordance with Section 5704.2.14 of the code.

An oil to gas conversion is an example where a construction activity can trigger the need to address the oil tank.  In this case, the local code officials must ensure that the tank is properly removed or abandoned in connection with the conversion.*

 oil to gas conversion

* The only exception to this would be where the owner can demonstrate a legitimate continued use of the tank.

 

The removal or abandonment of a tank requires an application for and the issuance of a demolition permit regardless of whether it is in connection with other related work. In short, if you are removing or abandoning an oil tank you need a permit.

 

Oil tank removal and abandonment inspections are the responsibility of the of the fire sub-code official as per the IFC, Section 5704.2.13, fuel oil storage systems, as referenced by the International Mechanical Code (Section 1301.5) and the International Residential Code (Section M2201.7). Per N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.4.

 

Proper Abandonment Procedures are detailed in the International Fire Code, Section 5704.2.13.1.4, the American Petroleum Institute (API) Bulletin 1604, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 30 Annex C relating to the abandonment of underground storage tanks. These documents, which detail procedures for tank abandonment are followed by New Jersey’s applicable regulation as listed in N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.6.

 

Tank Leak Assessment

The construction regulations are not clear regarding who, what, when or how the assessment of a tank for leaks is performed as it is generally not considered a construction activity.  The construction regulations do define that WHEN contamination is found it is to be reported to the NJDEP hotline at 877-927-6337 (877-WARN-DEP).  This is the bear trap owners of tanks face when a tank is removed.  NJDEP regulations chapter 26F HEATING OIL TANK SYSTEM REMEDIATION RULES  Statutory Authority N.J.S.A. 13:1D-9, 58:10-23.11 et seq., 58:10A-1 et seq., 58:10A-21 et seq., 58:10A-37.1 et seq., 58:10B-1 et seq., and 58:10C-1 et seq.  Date last amended August 6, 2018, state that:

 

"Upon discovery of a discharge, the owner shall immediately notify the Department by calling the Department Hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP (1-877-927-6337)."

Therefore, under the NJDEP requirements the owner upon discovering a tank leak must notify the NJDEP spill hotline.

residential oil tank leak

 

Construction Permit Approval

 

The most misunderstood part of the tank closure process is the sign off from the local municipality.  As per the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Bulletin No.: 95-1B after tank has been removed and properly disposed of, and the excavation is filled with certified clean material, a certificate of approval can be issued by the local construction office and the permit can be closed out.    So once you follow the construction procedures the township can close the permit, if the tank leaked or not.  Again once, you remove and backfill the tank, the municipality is done with their job. Any remediation activity, including the removal of contaminated soil, will then proceed through the Department of Environmental Protection’s Unregulated Heating Oil Tank (UHOT) Program.

Does all this sound confusing?  It should not but it does and the layperson should not be expected to know these procedures or regulations but they are subject to them.

If you want clear-cut answers, call Curren we have been performing tank closures for over 20 years.   Thousands of completed tank projects have made us de facto experts on tanks.

 

1-888-301-1050

Tags: oil tank, oil tank removal nj, oil tank removal, oil tank removal new jersey, NJ HOTS

7 Things I wish I knew before I removed my oil tank.

Posted by david sulock on Jul 25, 2018 9:11:47 AM

 A construction permit is required and it can take up to 20 business days to get the permit, which is a month.

 I thought that my out of use tank could remain where it was buried.  Nope, the buyer of my house needed a mortgage and to get the mortgage to buy my house, the tank had to be removed. Their attorney also advised that it be removed.   Yep found this out 9 days before settlement.  Did not know the tank removal permit took weeks to get.   Settlement eventually happened but it was 4 weeks later.

 

home tank removal

 

A tank removal report is important.

Had my tank removed no leaks.  Listed house for sale, buyer wanted proof that the tank did not leak.  I had a copy of the contract for the removal and I had a paid tank removal invoice, that was not enough,. The company I hired to remove the oil tank did not give me a report.  Stupid me the contract for removal did not include a report.   I had to pay another company to dig up the old tank grave, test the soils, and give me a report that the tank did not leak.  Apparently, buyers want 100% confirmation that the tank did not leak.  I mean it makes sense you want a report of the tank removal if you are buying a house, but why didn’t the tank removal company tell me that or give me one? 

Tank removal soil sampling is really important.

I was told I did not have to soil test when the tank is removed.  Apparently, testing is not required by law.  Well I removed the tank and it leaked and the immediate diagnosis was $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 to remediate the leak.  When I mean immediate, I mean I had an estimate to clean up the tank leak 2 days after the tank was removed.   I ultimately fired the tank removal company and hired another company.  The new company told me that you could not conclude 100% if remediation is necessary without soil testing.   Bottom line I got the soil tested, yes there was oil; no, it was not enough oil to demand remediation.  Saved the $10,000.00.  Couldn’t the company tell me that testing while not required is worth it if the tanks appears to have leaked.

Not all oil leaks mean you have to remediate.

As I learned, a hole in a tank only means that the company that removed the tank is going to give me an expensive quote to clean up the oil.  Apparently there are legal amounts of oil that can remain in the ground, kind of like good and bad cholesterol, but you would never know unless you test.

 

Holes in oil tank, but oil in bottom of tank

How excited the tank removal company crew would become after they removed my tank and found out it was leaking.

Got my oil tank removed, took the day off from work. The whole thing was very stressful as I bought the house with a sand filed tank and now 10 years later I am selling the house and the buyers want the tank removed.   When the tank was removed and I saw holes in the tank, my heart sank.  The mood of the tank workers was elevated when they saw the holes in the tank   You would think the Philadelphia Eagles won a 2nd super bowl.   I feel like they were leading me down a path to spend money I didn’t plan for or have.   Look I understand tank leaks but I was never told about what happens when a tank leaks.  It was upsetting that they were happy for by problems.

Getting something in writing is really important.

I hired a tank company to do my tank removal.  They talked a good game and had a very good price.   They had a 2-page proposal, it was brief and somewhat vague now that I think about it.  Well when I found out my tank leaked soil testing which I thought was done or would be done (we did speak about it) was not done.  They actually took a soil sample but it was not for determining if the oil level in the ground was legal it for the disposal of the soil.  I was presumed guilty.    I was more than a little miffed; I didn’t want to pay the bill until I got a report of removal.  I didn’t get that either.  I complained to an attorney who reviewed my 2-page quote.  I was told if it is not in the contract the company doesn’t have to do it.  So, I got no testing and no report, but I was told I would if in the small chance my oil tank leaked.   It was a case of he said she said, the attorney agreed it was deceptive but not worth the money to go after legally.

The cheapest price is not the best.

I figured a tank is a tank is a tank, so a tank removal is a tank removal.  I picked the least expensive company.  I thought I compared apples to apples and was picking the shiniest apple.  Well my tank leaked and I was up charged more than 5 times what the cost to remove the tank was.    What I learned from one of the tank company workers who needed to use my bathroom was the company doesn’t make money removing oil tanks.  The cleanup is much more profitable and their goal is to get as many tank removal projects  as possible, which increases their odds of finding a leaking tank.   They are supposed to call the office once they know a tank leaked, I guess to toast to their good fortune but not mine.

These seven snippets of experiences all came from clients of Curren who had their tank removed by another company.

Do something once and you are a novice.

Do something twice, well you are not a pro but you know more than you did the first time.

Bottom line, we have been performing tank projects for over 20 years.  Thousands of tanks tested, removed, and remediated.   Referrals are our largest source of work and we don’t advertise, no ads on the internet promoting Curren Environmental.     We do get many calls from people who after reading our web site and speaking to us wished they called us first for their tank removal.

If you have a tank and you want solid advice and your work professionally done, call our office.  We provide free consultation and estimates.  We have no sales people and 20 years of satisfied clients.  You can be the next one.

Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm   

888-301-1050

 

Tank Removal Question

 

Professional Tank Removal

 

Tags: oil tank removal pa, oil tank, tank leak, oil tank removal nj, oil tank removal, oil tank removal new jersey, tank removal

Do I need a Mosquito Control Service?

Posted by david sulock on May 29, 2018 2:44:43 PM

 

If you enjoy being bitten by mosquitoes, never go outside and/or do not care about the vector of disease that a mosquito bite represents (remember mosquitoes can extract blood from different hosts which spreads the risk of disease to each person bitten), then the answer would be no.  If you do not like being bitten by mosquitoes then yes mosquito remediation is probable something you should consider.

 Mosquito Control

Mosquito control or the more technical name mosquito remediation has become popular that it is as common as the general landscaping properties owners have performed.  Studies show that enjoying the outdoors has a positive improvement on a person’s mental and physical health.   The least expensive and easiest outdoor activity is being outside your home be it in your yard, porch or patio.   Mosquitoes can deprive people of their outdoor enjoyment, many people state that they would spend more time outside if it were not for the mosquitoes.

mosquito removal from your yard 

Mosquito remediation services are a natural extension of the maintenance of your yard, not dissimilar to weed control, lawn cutting or landscaping.  Mosquito remediation involves applying an EPA registered insecticide in a micro droplet form to foliage, vegetation and cool dark places where mosquitoes frequent.  The spray is designed to take down mosquitoes that come in contact with the spray (adult mosquitoes), include a residual presence in a micro encapsulated form to address mosquitoes not present during the application and lastly to neutralize the eggs or larvae of mosquitoes that represent soon to be born mosquitoes.  Doses can be measured as low as an 1/8th of a teaspoon as the target (mosquitoes) are small and do not need large doses to be affected.

 Mosquito Remediation

The application is very targeted to mosquito habitats such as under a deck or shed where both male and female mosquitoes hide during the heat of the day.  Fences, foundations and other horizontal surfaces can also be treated, as they are Landing Zones for mosquitoes, in short a rest stop for mosquitoes in flight to a destination. Foliage is treated as both male and female mosquitoes consume the plant nectar for food.

mosquitoes hide under porches in the heat of the day-1 

Grass is typically never treated as it not a cool enough habitat for mosquito to live.  Remember mosquitoes are small and light, the heat of the day can dehydrate a mosquito hence why they need to stay cool.  The exception is the Asian tiger mosquito, which can withstand the heat of the day and is a mean mosquito and will bite you all day long.  This is unique, as you probable already know that your chances of being bitten are early in the morning or the late afternoon evening when it is cooler outside.

Clearly, you would prefer to treat a yard rather than spray chemicals on your person.  If you read the fine print of personal mosquito repellents, you will see that they are to be washed off once you go inside.

Mosquito control and mosquito remediation differ from what most people have tried in the past as it is designed to remove the mosquito, hence the word remediation.  Remediation meaning the correction of something bad or the removal of something unwanted like mosquitoes or mold. Traditional DIY mosquito control such as citronella oil, peppermint oil, garlic and plants, are meant to ward off mosquitoes.  The idea is the aromas of these compounds are meant to disguise you from mosquitoes.   How mosquitoes find us is not 100% certain but the best understanding is they search for the carbon dioxide (CO2) that humans and animals exhale. Other scents that we emit are also believed to attract mosquitoes.    It is also believed that visually mosquitoes can detect or thermal signature.  There is also a school of thought that mosquito a combination of all senses to locate a blood meal.  Bottom line a female mosquito bite to consume blood needed to lay eggs, so these attempts at stopping a pregnant mosquito have largely been met with dissatisfaction.  Hence the popularity of mosquito remediation.

remove mosquitoesmosquito controlmosquito control servicemosquito removal is remediation

The systematic use of mosquito remediation each season has a long term lasting mosquito control benefit.   The reasons are as follows:

 

  • Your first season of mosquito remediation, drops the overall population of mosquitoes in your yard. If you do find a mosquito, it probable flew over from a neighbor’s yard.  So year one lowers the overall mosquito population, which limits future populations of mosquitoes as you are breaking the reproductive cycle of mosquitoes.  Meaning if you do not have mosquitoes, they cannot reproduce.
  • Year 2, is a lesser fight than year one as you have a smaller population in theory to control, but you most likely have a population of mosquitoes due to the natural life cycle of a mosquito. Mother Nature has bestowed mosquitoes the ability to continue their life cycle even in colder climates such as the Northeastern United States.  Mosquitoes do hibernate, as they are cold-blooded. Some females find holes or where they stay all winter.  Other female mosquitoes lay their eggs in freezing water and the eggs wait until spring to hatch as their eggs (larvae) can winter over meaning be dormant all winter and come out on the first patch of warm weather.   This stage is called diapause, which suspends any further development of the mosquito eggs.   These winter mosquitoes are remnants from last season and are eager to continue the mosquito life cycle.
  • You are probable breeding mosquitoes without knowing it. 80% of homes and businesses we treat have freestanding water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. 

The photo below is a prime example.  You see the water drain holes are not encountering the water being captured.  This recycling can was designed to not retain water, but the owner by placing the can upside down defeats the engineering and creates a water pocket for mosquitoes to grow.   It is items like this that we see time and again on properties, even when the owner is notified of the issues we find it is not corrected 40% of the time.Mosquito control dont's

Lastly, mosquito control should be viewed in the same lane as lawn care.  Manicured lawns are fertilized, weed controlled and cut on a regular basis.  When you stop cutting your lawn things can get out of control quickly.  Mosquito management is constant.

For tips you can try and not utilize a service, follow the link below.   IPM (Integrated Pest Management) takes a multi prong approach which can include out mosquito control tips as well as utilization of a mosquito remediation service.

DIY Mosquito Control

Tags: Mosquito Remedation, mosquito removal, mosquito control, mosquito management service, mosquito control service

Oil Tank Pit Falls  Buyer Beware

Posted by david sulock on May 18, 2018 12:50:08 PM

It should be common knowledge that buried oil tanks can be a problem. We get questions from unsure clients regarding liability of buying a home with an oil tank. - here's the 7 Most things you should know that can potentially save you a lot of money:

1) A buried oil tank will not necessarily be known or disclosed by the property seller.  Buyer Due Diligence is critical in performing a tank sweep.Tank Sweeps with GPR

 

  GPR scan with image

The buyer, buyer's attorney and the buyer's real estate agent should assume the responsibility of finding if they are buying a home with a buried oil tank.

2) Oil tanks and roofs have similar life spans (20 to 30 years are reasonable).  The vast majority of buried underground oil tanks have exceeded their expected life expectancy. That means the risk of a leak increases with each day until the tank is removed.

3)  Construction code places the burden of tank closure (when taken out of service) on the owner.  In most cases, the seller should and will pay for the cost of oil tank removal and/or soil remediation before closing - even when a tank is found to exist with a tank sweep by the buyer.

4).  Mortgage and insurance companies will not provide a mortgage or insure a home with an old buried oil tank.

 

Holed Tank with writing-5

5)  Holes in a tank did not necessarily mean that remediation is required.  Every State allows a certain amount of oil to remain in the ground from a tank leak.  Meaning just like cholesterol, there are good and bad levels of oil.   Contracts for tank removal should include testing as it is naive to believe that some oil may not have leaked from a old buried oil tank. Holes or petroleum odors in a tank excavation are not conclusive evidence that remediation is warranted.

6)   Buying a home where an underground oil tank was removed and no report with laboratory testing is available (or completed) is taking a risk.   Many tank leaks go unreported, not remediated or unknown to current owners of a property.

 

7) Luck number 7, if you are reading this and have questions regarding an oil tank or about a property you are buying where a tank may exist?  Call the experts, we offer a free initial consultation   888-301-1050

SBA Phase I & Phase II ESA Changes Effective January 2018

Posted by david sulock on Mar 13, 2018 1:10:04 PM

SBA 2018 CHANGES TO THE PHASE I & II

SBA SOP 50 10 5 (J)

(Phase One Environmental Site Assessment & Phase II Investigation)

 

As of January 1, 2018, the SBA has changed their environmental due diligence requirements.  These changes relate to Phase I ESA's completed and Phase II requirements for certain sites applying for SBA funding.  The changes are more conservative and reflect SBA experience with Due Diligence completed and the need for stricter standards.

 

 

January 1, 2018 marks the effective date of SBA SOP 50 10 5 (J) relative to Phase I and II requirements.    These new requirements must be followed by parties going through SBA lending.  The Nine Key Areas of the most important changes are as follows:

  1. Dry Cleaner Requirements
  2. Gas Stations
  3. Records Search with Risk Assessment
  4. Phase I Environmental Site Assessments Recommendations
  5. Shelf Life of a Phase I
  6. Reliance Letters
  7. NACIS Code List
  8. Historic Places
  9. Insurance

 

1.       Drycleaners

If lending occurs to any site where dry cleaning was EVER performed then a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and Phase II ESA must be performed.   This is a change to the prior requirement where  the SOP only required a Phase I ESA for current or former dry-cleaning operations and the Phase II was not necessary is if prior dry cleaning operations were under 5 years.  Now if the target site has current or former onsite dry-cleaning facilities that used, likely used or uses chlorinated and/or petroleum-based solvents a Phase II is mandatory.  If the Phase II ESA finds any soil and groundwater contamination and soil vapor intrusion, it must be addressed.

 

2.      Gasoline Service Stations

The Environmental professional must document with professional judgement that the facility complies with all regulatory requirements relating to tank and equipment testing i.e. the tank system.

The SBA loan will not be completed until full compliance is achieved, and deficiencies have been corrected, which would require monetary outlay by the borrower.  

 SBA SOP 50 10 5 (J) Phase I.jpg

3.      Records Search with Risk Assessment

In a Records Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA), historical sources, regulatory databases and an environmental questionnaire are used to determine current and historical uses of a property in order to provide a risk determination. Site reconnaissance activities are not part of a RSRA. The new SOP has additional requirements for the historical sources used in a RSRA. The historical records should identify property uses back to the first developed use or back to 1940, whichever is earlier. In addition, the RSRA should include the database reports and historical records used to develop the opinion noted in the RSRA.

 Get answers to Phase I Questions

4.           Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) Recommendations

Any Phase I ESA will include a conclusion by the Environmental Professional whether there is risk of contamination so minimal that no further investigation is warranted or that sufficient risk warranting additional investigation is present. Recommendations, including Housekeeping recommendations of the Environmental Professional’s recommendations are to be followed.  In short, if further work is recommended, it is to be accomplished.  Noncompliance requires the party to provide to the SBA Environmental Committee justification for not wanting to follow the recommendations of the Environmental Professional, which requires review and approval or denial from the SBA Environmental Committee.

 

oil water separator.jpg

 5.       Shelf Life of a Phase I

SBA will accept an All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) compliant Phase I if it was performed within one year of submittal to the SBA. The prior version of the SOP had a 180-day limit.

 6.       Reliance Letters

Reliance letters are required for Transaction Screen Reports, Phase I ESAs and Phase II ESAs. The SBA Reliance Letter template cannot be modified.  Lender and CD’s are not supposed to alter the terms of the SBA’s standard reliance letter.

 

7.        NACIS Code List

The NAICS code(s) for the Property’s current and known prior uses must be obtained or a good faith effort exerted to obtain the number(a) and a comparison must be made to the NAICS code(s) to the list of environmentally sensitive industries. Two new categories were added and four were amended.   The NACIS can trigger a Phase II:

  • 484 – Trucking (if service bays, truck washing or fuel tanks are present)
  • 713990 – Other recreational industry (indoor and outdoor shooting ranges only)

In addition, four clarifications were added. The clarifications are noted below.

  • 316 – Leather & Allied Product Manufacturing (not required if assembly only)
  • 326 – Plastics & Rubber Product Manufacturing (not required if assembly only)
  • 332 – Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (not required if assembly only)
  • 8122 – Death Care Services (unless no embalming or cremation at the property.

8.     Historic Places

Potential to impact listed/eligible to be listed properties on the NRHP, the SBA counsel should be consulted. If impacts to historic places are anticipated, the SBA is required to consult with the applicable State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), who typically has 30 days to provide feedback on the property. If no impacts are anticipated, the SBA counsel may determine that no further review is required.

images[2].jpg

 

9.       Insurance

A new section relating to Indemnification was added to the Environmental Policies and Procedures section of the SBA SOP. Environmental errors and omissions liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000 per claim (or occurrence) must be provided and that evidence of this insurance must be attached to all reports. This insurance must cover environmental work completed as of the date of the Phase I, provide coverage up to $1,00,000.00 and have no time limitation on liability.

 

 

 

Trust the Experts our Due Diligence Experience is Decades in the Making.

 

  1. Over 20 years experience.
  2. Thousands of Phase I & II ESA completed.
  3. Peer reviews performed on Phase I & II reports.
  4. In house Drilling, Geophysical & Excavation equipment for cost control.

 

Tags: Phase II

How to choose an LSRP?

Posted by david sulock on Oct 5, 2017 9:05:25 AM

How to Choose an LSRP? aka Hiring an LSRP

After 8 years of LSRP mandated involvement in the state of New Jersey we still are asked, how do I choose an LSRP?

If you are looking to retain an LSRP for an environmental issue, your property is either in the State of New Jersey or Massachusetts. New Jersey implemented the LSRP program to more or less privatize the cleanup of contaminated sites in New Jersey. The LSRP program is telling in the fact that only two states have LSRP programs.

You will need an LSRP is you own are connected (responsible) for a property in New Jersey that has found to contain contamination. Contamination at a site could be from your involvement or historic contamination that may not have ever been known or disclosed to the current owner prior to purchase. We work at a number of properties that require LSRP involvement due to contamination being left behind from a prior owner. The laws are that if you own the site even if you did not cause the contamination you are responsible. This is true for most all sites, it can have exceptions such as where contamination had been previously found under another owner and that owner is listed as the Responsible party (RP) according to the New Jersey Spill Act.

 

LSRP regulated tanks.jpg

The New Jersey LSRP program started on May 7, 2009, then Governor Jon Corzine signed the Site Remediation Reform Act N.J.S.A. 58:10C – 1 ("SRRA") into law. One of the many provisions of the law establishes a program for the licensing of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals ("LSRPs") environmental professionals that have the experience with environmental impacted sites and who pass a proficiency exam. An LSRP has the responsibility for the oversight of environmental investigations and cleanups of applicable site in New Jersey. There was a phase in period of the program, which ran until May 7, 2012.

Bottom line, as of May 7, 2012, all applicable remediation’s (any commercial or industrial site as a rule) requires LSRP involvement in the state of New Jersey. Even sites that may have been undergoing remediation prior to May 7, 2009, without regard to when remediation was initiated, are required to find and retain a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP), as per N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1.3b(1) through (9).

An LSRP takes responsibility of navigating responsible parties through the NJDEP’s Site Remediation Program (SRP). In short, if you have contamination, you must determine the source, define the area of contamination, determine media affected by the contamination (soil, groundwater), evaluate for vapor concerns if applicable and then determine a course of action. Addressing contamination may mean physically addressing the contamination (soil excavation, chemical or biological treatment) or by permitting the contamination in place (deed restrictions, Classification Exemption Areas CEA).

Before the LSRP program an RP would receive a No Further Action (NFA), today you receive an RAO or Response Action Outcome (RAO) document that effectively replaces the No Further Action (NFA) letter previously issued by the NJDEP. On sites where an RAO includes the use of institutional or engineering controls, which are meant to be protective of public health, safety, and the environment, an LSRP must remain involved for any required post-RAO monitoring.

For sites where all applicable remediation standards have been met (meaning no institutional or engineering controls are required), then an unrestricted-use RAO is issued as the final remediation document, and the role of the LSRP is completed.

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Hiring an LSRP is similar to engaging other professionals such as accountants or lawyers. As with any professional, you will find some are better than others. You need to look at the broad picture of what you will need with engagement of an LSRP. Meaning, any licensed LSRP will have the experience and background to perform the work as they hold the LSRP license. Outside of just experience you will also be incurring costs for fieldwork, such as drilling, soil and water sampling, excavation, geophysical surveys, air monitoring, the list can be long. These blue-collar services so to speak can dwarf the hourly rates of the professional (LSRP) directing the activities. Boutique firms such as Curren Environmental retain these services in-house to not only ensure the quality of the services, but also the cost. We find our rates to be below those of firms where subcontractors must be sourced and markups added by the environmental consultant. At Curren, we source both consulting and contracting under one umbrella to provide true turnkey services.

To that end, hiring an LSRP can entail lengthy relationship and we respect that no one wakes up in the morning and wants to make a bad decision but it happens.We offer a no cost, no obligation consultation on your project needs.As a matter of course we cannot accept every project that arises as we hold responsibility to steer the project to NJDEP mandated timeframes, we cannot simple hand stamp a project to buy time for an RP, as the fees and fines the NJDEP has established for not meeting mandatory timeframes in conjunction with the LSRP program are burdensome.

Our office is available Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST to answer your questions.  Toll Free 866-332-3388

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Tags: LSRP, LSRP costs, LSRP Deadline, LSRP Program, LSRP in NJ, LSRP in New Jersey

Why do I have Mold?

Posted by david sulock on Sep 30, 2017 9:36:24 AM

                                                   Why is mold so prevalent?

Mold is a four letter word and strikes an emotional cord in people when spoken and encountered. Health concerns are a major factor on people’s perspective of mold. Mold is ubiquitous in our environment and to have a mold free environment is practically impossible. That said, if you see growth (often described as discoloration), you have mold that is or was actively growing and spreading. In short there is an environment that is allowing the mold to grow, which is a preventable situation. Here are some of the environmental and situational causes of mold growth.

mold prevention5

 

Aging Housing Stock. (Deferred Maintenance)

As the homes in the United States get older, the repair and maintenance needs for these homes are on the rise. Older homes are in need of much more care. Gutters clog, caulk dries out, foundations settle and cracks appear, soil erodes away from foundations, dehumidifiers break and don’t get replaced, sump pumps die, exhaust fans break. Homes that have been missing general upkeep have been labeled deferred maintenance abodes.

When gutters are filled with debris water cannot flow from the roof and away from the dwelling perimeter. Water can pour over lengths of horizontal gutters placing water close to the structures foundations and allowing moisture to enter subterranean spaces.

Downspout

 

Caulk around windows dry out and holes appear. Rain events can allow water to enter through worn caulk and enter the building structure.

Over time, foundations can settle and cracks can form. Hydrostatic pressure is strong (ever get pushed down by a wave at the beach?). Water from rain events or melting snow can enter these cracks and crevices; again allowing moisture to enter the space.

All perimeter foundations should have what’s called in industry parlance as “positive drainage”. Meaning the exterior grade around a foundation should slope away from the foundation, thus diverting water from the foundation.

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Dehumidifiers can be called the devil’s machine, how many times are you going to trek down the basement and empty the dehumidifier? Until you simple stop doing it (leaving a full tank) and just simple turning off the unit. Dehumidifiers don’t have to break, they just have to stop capturing moisture and discharging it. Eighty percent (80%) of residential single family units that have mold below grade (basements and crawlspaces) had a dehumidifier present, but it was not operating.

Set dehumidifiers to 55 and plug a hose into the unit and drain it directly to a sump or sink. You do not need the unit set to 60 or 65 like the one in the photo

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Sump pumps are the workhorse of a high water table and wet basements. They are your last line of defense to keeping storm events out of your home. These electric pumps will eventually clog and burn out and some simply die from years of unappreciated faithful service.

Mold Prevention1

Sump sumps? Cover the crock, water evaporates and adds to over all moisture.

humidifier set up

.Exhaust fans are loud and who wants to exhaust anything anyway from a bathroom? These fans just make you cold and in an attic, it just makes a lot of noise. But these locations when fans operate, help control environmental conditions that can hinder mold growth.

Bathroom mold

All these seemingly minute items can allow a conducive environment for mold to grow. Truth be told most mold impacted areas did not get moldy over night, most have had a slow steady mold buildup for years and the older the home the more time mold has to grow. The environmental disaster event, where a dwelling is flooded, roof leaks, plumbing line breaks, do happen but they are the minority on average. Attics, crawl spaces, basements by nature of their unconditioned environment are hot beds for mold growth.

 

attic mold

 

Aging Population.

As long time homeowners get older, they age out of skill sets required for homeowner maintenance. As general mobility decrease so does the ability to climb a ladder or walk downstairs. Some people just throw in the towel knowing that the fight they had with mother nature was lost and water will get in and it eventually dries out so why bother?

First Time Homeowners.

Much has been said about younger generations, and not always in the most flattering light. There are no courses you get about home maintenance when you sign a mortgage, more people buy books about rearing kids than about how to take care of a home. Television is no help, the home improvement shows don’t show you how-to-do mundane tasks, they show you backyard retreats you can build, bathroom and kitchen makeovers. All sexy cool stuff, that doesn’t help with home maintenance when it comes to mold.

New Home Construction.

You would think a new home would be a problem free home, well - not for mold. Today’s tighter building envelopes trap moisture indoors allowing mold to grow. New homes tend to have wetter, less dense wood than older homes, primary because the wood comes from new growth forests making the wood young or immature. In short, the wood hasn’t had decades to dry out. In addition, this newer wood often is not kiln dried, which means it did go through a process to fully remove all the moisture, why, because it’s more expensive.

Tags: mold, Mold Testing, mold cleanup, mold remediation, mold contractor

Heating Oil Tank Pitfalls

Posted by david sulock on Aug 21, 2017 9:01:00 AM

The pitfalls when dealing with a buried heating oil tank are many and blindside people all the time.  Curren receives phone calls daily regarding an oil tank a homeowner had removed, which they were told by the company who removed it that it had leaked and needed a subsequent remediation (cleanup,) and the company then provided a quote to remediate.   Many homeowners that call don’t believe that their tank leaked, or simply just want a second opinion or quote.  The problem with the vast majority of these calls is even though Curren Environmental has over 20 years of experience, we do not have x-ray vision, so we ask for a report from the tank removal company and the lab testing of the soil that is allegedly contaminated we are met with an awkward pause, followed by “I don’t have either”.  

How do you know that the soil is really contaminated?  The removal company just knows - is a common answer or we don’t really know we are just being told that we have a problem, is what the homeowner is saying.   The “my oil tank leak” incoming phone calls come from homeowners, banks, financial institutions, developers, estate, and so on…the list is long and the story is the same, they chose the wrong company to remove their oil tank.  Circling back to the tank removal company, many of these firms have names that begin with an A so they show up early in alphabetical listings.  We typically ask the firms name as we know many good firms and perhaps they just had a bad experience, the vast majority of times it is a company we never heard of or have heard problems about frequently. 

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Research the firm, the ones that have only been in business a few years tend to be more unscrupulous (just look up when their domain name was initially registered, if it is less than 10 years, a red flag should be raised).   Tank removal companies know that most any tank can be removed for under $2,000.00.  Remediation of a tank leak can cost $10,000.00, so they are highly motivated to remediate and all they need is a pin oil of evidence in an oil tank to sell you on the tank leak problem and the need for remediation.  Add to the fact that the oil tank is being removed because of a real estate transaction and now you are under the stress of a timeframe.   Curren Environmental gets pulled into testing these removed tank areas (untested tank excavation, but owner was told how bad the leak was and remediation was a crucial necessity).  When we test, the majority of the time we find remediation is not warranted.

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Could you see a problem occurring when you first hire a company to remove an oil tank, the answer is yes.  What are the tank removal pitfalls?

The tank removal company has a name that begins with an A. I know it sounds biased, but we have too many complaints from clients who hired such a firm we see a trend.

  • The tank removal contract does not include a report. Certificate of removal or a certification of removal is a made up document. Documents like Site Investigation Report, Remedial Action Report or Tank Closure Report are all documents that regulatory agencies acknowledge are real documents, meant to document an environmental activities.   A paper certificate obtained from an office supply store is not worth the paper it is printed on. 
  • The tank removal does not include soil samples or an explanation of what level of oil is acceptable. Hey, rust never sleeps, oil could leak, so having cost for testing is always a good idea.  I ask you, would you buy a house with an oil tank that was removed and did not have testing?
  • The post tank removal decision of determining if the oil tank leaked will be made by the construction inspection. Well the permit from any township for a tank removal is for TANK REMOVAL, it is not an environmental inspection.  Therefore, these companies will tell you if the inspector sees a pinhole in the tank you must remediate, this is not always true.  Pinholes in a tank do not mean you have to remediate, it means you had a really tiny hole and some oil has leaked from the tank.  Trust me when the local inspector sees a hole, they will demand that the leak be reported to the state, why, because the law is that you report known and suspected releases such as holes in tank.  Now your tank removal company will tell you to that the inspector says you have to remediate. 
  • The tank removal contract assumes the tank is not leaking. Tanks leak, not all of them but some do and you need to know about what if.   Not discussing the possibility of finding a tank leak is a unicorn and rainbow perspective of things, which is a glass half full perspective, BUT to be fair there should be an explanation of what will happen if a tank leak is found?  Will samples be obtained to assess the soil or will you get a quote to remediate within a few days of removal?

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All these are common complaints we see from clients who had their tank removed. There are many good companies doing good work but there are also many that prey on the one time client, that does not understand the repercussions of having a leaking oil tank.

Still have questions, call our office 856-858-9509 Monday to Friday, you are welcome to a free consultation. 

We mange tank issues in New Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware.

What should an area look like after Mold Remediation?

Posted by david sulock on Feb 23, 2016 9:30:00 AM

If Mold Remediation was performed properly there are a few things you should be able to see, even with an untrained eye. 

  1. On a basic and an expected disclosure basis, the owner should be able to explain what the mold problem was, including the extent and cause.
  2. The area remediated should look clean or cleaner than it was before the remediation. While clean is tough to quantify, you would not expect a crawl space or a basement to have a sense of clean like a living room, generally it should be devoid of debris and heavy/dust/dirt.
  3. No mold should be visible. This is important, as the site of mold may have been the trigger for remediation.  Remember remediation = removal.
  4. The space should be dry. Simply put, moisture caused the mold growth, just remediating the mold without addressing the cause does not solve your problem. There  should be a working dehumidifier in basements and crawl spaces. Building repairs that allowed the initial water entry should be completed, such as leaking basement windows, or roof leaks.  On the outside -  roof leaders should be extended away from the house.   There should be a slope away from the foundation to carry water away (positive drainage). 
  5. Ceilings, wood framing, roof sheeting, any remaining organic surfaces within the space, should have been treated with a mold resistant coating.  The coating seals the wood to prevent moisture from getting a toehold, which is exactly how the mold was able to grow  in the first place.  The coating should also have a long acting fungicide to prevent future growth.  The better coatings have a 10 year warranty and are white in color so you know the area has been treated visually.  The clear coat products have lost favor, as it is difficult to ensure that application was even and thorough throughout the space.
  6. If the owner performed the remediation, an invoice should be obtained to ensure that the mold remediation was performed professionally and not DIY. 
  7. A warranty (typically on the mold resistant coating) should be obtainable and transferable to the new owner.  Warranties that are provided by the company PERFORMING the work are nearly worthless since these companies come and go with little in financial backing.  The companies that manufacture and sell the coating to mold remediators to utilize are multimillion dollar firms with the deep pockets to backup and support any future warranty claims.Click to edit your new post...

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Tags: mold