Curren Environmental Blog

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.

 

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

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.

mold prevention4

 

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 remediation, mold cleanup, mold contractor, Mold Testing

Mold Prevention Tips

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Sep 7, 2017 2:39:00 PM

Where there is Mold there is water!

Fix the water – stop the Mold growth.

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  • Get a dehumidifier for the crawlspace and basement areas.  
    • Keep the dehumidifier at 60 degrees or lower at all times.  
    • Never turn it off.
    • Have a hose hooked up to the water disposal and have it constantly running to the sump pump or to the sink

Mold Questions? Click Here

  • Check your attic for any water. Fix any leaks in your roof.
  • If you have an attic fan, make sure it is turned on. Better yet get one that is on a humidity thermostat. 
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  • Make sure the bathroom fans are always on during showers and stay on for at least 20 to 30 minutes after. To make sure the fan is working do the following:
    • Turn on the fan
    • Take a tissue and put the tissue up to the fan
    • Let go of the tissue
    • Does the Tissue fall to the ground? Or does the fan suck the tissue up to it
    • If the tissue falls to the ground GET A NEW FAN! If the tissue goes to the fan, that’s a good bathroom fan.
  • Check your dryer vents and clean them for any dust and particles. Make sure the vent exhausts to the outdoor.
  • While cooking use the exhaust fan, any moisture in the air can cause mold in the future.
  • Check under all faucet cabinets for any leaks, for example under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  • Check in your bathroom by your tub area for any calking that may need to be replaced. Calking may be old, stained and moldy.
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  • Clean roof gutters regularly. With the fall coming, more leaves will be falling clogging gutters. These gutters help water flow away from the home. Clogging gutters also lead to a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Direct the water away from your home by using roof leaders with PVC piping.  PVC piping is much stronger than corrugated and will not become clogged.
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  • Dry any wet areas within 48 areas. After 48 areas mold can get a toehold and begin to grow.  While some mold species are perfectly acceptable in the home, others need moisture and constant water to grow; these types of mold species are the types that are cause for health concerns.

mold prevention5.jpgQuestions?  Email Curren Environmental at info@currenenvironmental.com or call at 1-888-301-1050. Follow these preventative tips and mold will less likely grow in your home.  

 

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.

Oil Tank Sweeps - Inspecting Properties for Tanks

Posted by pat warren on Aug 15, 2017 2:35:00 PM

Have you ever gone to the beach and used a metal detector and found pennies, nickels or dimes? Or even paper clips maybe a thumb tack or that gold chain?  Did you really ever find that diamond ring or that emerald necklace that would be like winning the lottery? I didn’t think so. That’s what it’s like using a metal detector to find an Underground Storage Tank (UST).  There are so many different metal detectors available for anyone to buy today.  It’s like hiring someone with an $800 metal detector who will charge you $200 to find a penny. Is that what you are looking for?

What do the following items have in common: A/C units, chain-link fence, reinforce concrete and underground utilities? They all contain metal.  The major problem with only using a metal detector to locate tanks is that all homes have a large amount of metal surrounding the structure.

There have been many instances where Curren Environmental has been called out to a property after a “metal detector tank scan” had been performed because the findings were inconclusive.  In most cases the recommendations of the tank scan company was to either dig it up or have a GPR scan performed! One severe case for example – a homeowner purchased a property after having a metal detector scan performed and was now looking to sell.  A potential buyer of the property had Curren perform a GPR scan and sure enough a UST was found.   The UST was removed and found to be leaking—the cost of the remediation was over $20,000.00.  Don’t buy a home with an UST that couldn’t be found with a metal detector.  

Ground Penetrating Radar is (commonly called GPR) a geophysical method for tank scans that has been developed over the past thirty years for shallow, high-resolution, subsurface investigations of the earth. A Ground Penetrating Radar (tank scanning) unit costs well over $15,000, which a trained technician uses to locate an Underground Oil Tanks.

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GPR uses high frequency pulsed electromagnetic waves (generally 10 MHz to 1,000 MHz) to acquire subsurface information to locate the Underground Oil Tank. Energy is propagated downward into the ground and is reflected back to the surface from boundaries at which there are electrical property contrasts.

The GPR unit is mounted on a cart that is manually pushed.  The use of GPR is based on a radar signal penetrating the ground and the signal reflecting off solid buried objects such as Underground Oil Tanks.  The signal will attenuate when it passes over solid ground cover such as concrete, asphalt, pavers, etc.  Optimal scanning conditions would be unpaved non-landscaped areas.  A metal detector will pick up any rebar in the concrete or pavement.

 

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Ground penetrating radar (commonly called GPR) is a geophysical method that has been developed over the past thirty years for shallow, high-resolution, subsurface investigations of the earth. GPR uses high frequency pulsed electromagnetic waves to acquire subsurface information. The tank scanning unit also provides the ability to scan the ground for not only copper lines, cables and pipes but the advantage over a traditional, metal detector or magnetometer is that it can see non-conductive materials including plastic pipes.

Using radar technology, the displays shows image map of underground features. The unit allows real-time subsurface displays and adjustable digital color to provide immediate sensing technology in lieu of data capturing and downloading to observe the findings as with other GPR units. Something you WILL not see with a metal detector.  

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Remember – a metal detector can find anything metal in the ground.  A Ground Penetrating Radar will scan the ground for an Underground Oil Tank.

 

Tags: OIl Tank Sweeps

Mold Inspections - Inspecting for Mold

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jun 21, 2017 9:35:00 AM

A Home Inspector finds a “Mold like Substance”,

What Should You Do Now?

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Curren receives many calls where the home inspection report flags a fungal like growth, possible Mold like substance, black mold and evaluation by a licensed a qualified Mold company is recommended” sometimes the home inspector adds the following “Mold is due to high moisture levels” or “a Mold inspection is recommended due to a possible allergic reaction”.  In the state of New Jersey Home Inspectors are not licensed to inspect for Mold, they can state “fungal like growth” “Mold like substance” and recommend further evaluation.  This is where Curren Environmental offers their expertise on the Mold Inspections and Mold Remediation.

When a Home Inspector finds Mold and recommends a further evaluation what should the realtor and buyer/seller do?  First, is suspect mold is found in an unfinished attic, basement or crawl space, understand these are the most common areas for growth as these spaces are unconditioned.  By unconditioned I mean not heated or cooled by a HVAC system.  Mold likes to grow at temperatures and moisture (humidity) levels humans do not.  If you find yourself holding a home inspection you should contact an environmental company that has been in business for a long time (over 10-20 years) not one with PO Box # with an address and one that doesn’t just work with Mold and is not into restoration. 

On the further evaluation on the “Mold like substance”.  If the Home Inspector sends a detailed report to the buyer/seller with photos than that document can be emailed to the Mold Inspector.  Better inspectors photo document and detail where, most home inspectors do not list the mold location in great detail.  When photos are available, often times a qualified mold consultant can determine the complaint room and if Mold is present.  Curren Environmental typically will visit the property in question, do a walking inspection, check for any ways of water entry and get measurements of complaint room to provide a scope of work involved and a detailed quote to remediate without testing (Again EPA does not recommend testing if Mold is visibly present). During this type of transaction the buyer usually is the one who has the home inspection and would like the Mold remediation.  This Mold Remediation scope and quote is given to the seller who in turn either gets the remediation done or the price is worked into the cost of the house and the buyer gets the Mold remediation done after the purchase of the home.

 It is safest to get the mold work done before you buy, in the event that additional mold is found, say behind a wall or above a sheetrock ceiling. After any mold remediation is performed, we provide a detailed checklist with how to remain moisture free (ex. Adding gutters, leading water away from the dwelling, closing cracks in the foundation. Etc)

In most cases Mold takes years to grow, especially in older homes.  If a qualified Home Inspector provides a detailed report there typically is no need to test the Mold unless the seller wants to contest that what was found is actually mold.  Again EPA does not recommend testing when obvious Mold growth is present. The only reason to test for Mold is if the buyer really wants to know what type of spore it is such as Cladosporium or Stachybotrys or one of the 100’s of thousands of spores.

Now, in the case that there is no visible sign of Mold but the home inspector feels as if there might be a moisture problem and a Mold Inspection should be performed than there should be Mold Testing.  Mold inspections are a safe bet when you are dealing with a house that had undergone rehab, a flipper is involved or in general the house has been improved specifically for sale.  From years of experience it is these homes where we find mold.  Since the cosmetic work performed is meant to give the home inside curb appeal, people take short cuts, as we have found the following. 

  1. They may remove mold themselves not following proper procedures and we find high levels of spores in the air. We also find that they don not address the water issue that caused the mold.
  2. Mold gets painted over.
  3. Moldy basements get finished with sheetrock, covering over the mold.
  4. Insulation is placed on moldy ceilings in basements and crawl spaces.
  5. Crawl space openings get sealed over to avoid access for inspection.

This is when Curren Environmental would perform a Thorough Mold Inspection.   When no mold is visible present but there is reason to believe mold is present, inspections look for hidden mold, this is where testing (air) is mandatory as this form of testing is highly reliable in finding hidden mold.

  • Visual Inspection of the outside of the property
  • Visual Inspection of the inside of the property
  • Infrared inspection
    • Moisture reading
    • Check walls for moisture
    • Air testing (one outside and one in complaint rooms)

 

As a realtor or a buyer be very careful in a situation like this.   Mold can be hidden, and hidden well behind those freshly painted walls and newly painted trim. Above that painted ceiling as well.

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Remember, most common areas of a residential property for Mold growth are in areas where moisture is high.  Areas that are cold damp or have a high humidity - such as the attic, crawl space, basement, under the sink, next to the bathtub or in a closet.  Other areas highly likely areas for Mold to grow are around the furnace (might be leaking or wet), near a sump pump or in an area that you haven’t been in a very long time (like that closet in the basement with all those empty Amazon boxes!).

If the Home Inspector requests a further evaluation by a qualified Mold company it’s in your best interest to do so.  In New Jersey there are NO licensed Mold companies, (only 4 states have licensing) go with a referral or again one that has been in business for a many years and is an Environmental company.  

Tags: Mold Testing

Successful Oil Tank Removal - Avoid Tank Problems

Posted by David C Sulock on Jun 6, 2017 9:57:36 AM

Keep in mind that if have an oil tank you need removed, this will most likely be a he only time in your life you will ever have to deal with something like this.  Odds are against you making the best decision regarding removing the underground tank, which is why we have devised this handy tank removal reference guide.   The following information regarding tank removal are a cumulation of 20 years of tank removal experience and speaking to people who had their tank removed and their decision making regret.

Google oil tank leak and you will see some scary web pages. If you are selling a property with a tank and don't you think it's an issue, realize your buyers are reading these pages and they know an oil tank can be an issue.

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 Here are important oil tank removal fact.

  1. Most oil tanks do not leak.
  2. Most oil tanks that leak do not require expensive remediation and can be addressed by testing.
  3. Every state allows a permissible amount of oil to remain in the ground.

Few if any tank removal firms will tell you these facts.

Tank removals while not cheap can cost between $1200.00 and $2,000.00 on average.  Remediation of leaking oil tanks can cost $10,000.00, $16,000.00, $40,000.00 dollars or more.  Do I have your attention?  Many firms will suck you in with a competitive price on tank removal and then whack you with a bill to remediate the leaking oil tank.   Many people call our office after their tank is removed and after they get an outrageous proposal to remediate.   These tank remediation quotes appear on the same day as tank removal or within a few days and are 90% of the time baseless money grabs.  

Google oil tank removal and you will see some slick web pages, not as scary by any means as the tank leak search. These pages have happy people, testimonials and some sales oriented content. You may be swayed by the nice web pages or even that the company is LOCAL.   Local has nothing to do with an oil tank removal, you probably have a few pizza shops close by and one is your favorite.  Proximity to your property is not like a pizza shop, good environmental companies are not known to be as popular as pizza shops.  Contract with these firms and if your tank has any remote evidence of leaking, you will regret your choice of contracting.  Here is why. 

I had no indication that my tank was leaking and the company I hired agreed.

Big, big trouble is brewing in this sentence.  I would hope that no one wishes ill will on anyone, but let us look at an oil tank leak as a possibility based on the following.

Oil tanks do not last forever and on average a tank lifespan is between 20 and 30 years.

Age of tank.   If your oil tank is the original oil tank for the house and it is older than 30 years, well it has outlasted the refrigerator, washer, dryer, roof, ect. It is most likely the oldest replaceable fixture in the dwelling that was NEVER REPLACED.   So can we agree there is a CHANCE the oil tank maybe leaking?  Just a chance.   If your answer is yes, well should a brief conversation occur about the oil tank leak scenario?  If yes, then the what if my oil tank leaks discussion should be written into your oil tank removal contract, so you know what steps will occur in the event of a leak.   Trust me the answer is yes and your proposal like so many we see will not have the language in there and you are setting yourself up for problems. 

 Soil samples.  You do not want them because soil sampling is not required by law, you do not want to test because you do not want to find a problem.  I mean who wants to go to the doctor, you know the doctor is going to find something wrong.  Soil sampling after a tank is removed is 100% important and not sampling is the biggest mistake you can make. 

Remember the google search for oil tank leak?   Well how are you going to certify the tank did not without testing?   Perhaps you think the township will inspect and certify the tank did not leak?  Wrong their job is a construction inspection, remember they are not licensed to remove an oil tank, the company you hired is licensed and they hold the burden to certify the work. 

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How do we certify that a tank did not leak?  

Not by looking at it, believe it or not.  No one knows your cholesterol level without blood work, there are marathon runners that have heart disease, healthy looking people get cancer, my point is looks can be deceiving you cannot look at an oil tank and be 100% certain the tank did or did not leak.   Please do not tell me you will be able to tell if the tank leaked because you are going to look for black oil in the ground, because everyone knows that is how you can tell, WRONG.   The tank is not the Beverly hillbillies, heating oil is not black its dyed red.  (Google it, heating oil is red, no lie).

Back to soil testing, hey if you were buying a house with an oil tank that was removed, wouldn't you want testing completed and a report certifying the tank did not leak?  If you don't care, leave this web page, go play words with friends, understanding the pitfalls of oil tank removal are not your topic of interest. 

Soil testing protects you from unscrupulous tank removal firms that would remove your tank, show you a hole in the tank after removal, show this hole to the construction official, report you to the state and give you a cost to remediate, which is many times more expensive than the tank removal and more profitable for the removal company.

 

Here is the short story of a property where a tank was removed, the tank was found to be leaking and got a quote 

1.Oil tank was removed.

2.Property owner want soil testing.

3. Tank removal company says soil testing is a waste of money.

4. Tank removal company has X-ray vision and can just tell that the tank leak is bad and you need remediation, why test?

5. Owner is told testing is expensive, $5,000.00, true story, owner was told why spend the money to test if you know it leaked?

6. Truth, testing of an oil tank, say a 275 to 550 gallon oil tank would cost under $250.00!  Think that money is worth spending?

7. Owner was given a quote to remediate a day after removal.  

At this step in the tank removal, the ownerr felt something did not add up.  Owner brought in another company to test the removed tank area.   Yes contamination was found, but it was with acceptable standards.  

Success tank removal depends on testing, if you test, you could save thousands in unnecessary oil tank remediation.

If you don't test the soil after a tank is removed, the removal company can quote you an expensive remediation, good for them, not for you.

Why are we posting oil tank removal problems, showing you how to be a better consumer of these services, well we remove tanks but we also help people who had their tank removed and we are repeating their stories for your education.   Unethical tank removal firms give all companies a bad name.   To be frank as well, we get a little tired of hearing the same story over and over again.

 Common compliants after a tank is removed?

My oil tank contract was based on the tank not leaking.  It leaked and I am getting billed alot more than the cost of the removal.

My tank had holes when it was removed and I have to remediate.

My leak was reported to the NJDEP AND NOW I HAVE A CASE NMBER.

The removal company said testing wasn't in my contract so they didn't test.

The removal company said testing was a waste of money and I have to remediate.

Environmental company gives a 10k quote to remediate, my house is under contract for sale and I have to clean up the leak or risk losing the buyer.

 

We have been involved with more projects than I care to count that fits those details. Sit down before I tell you what we find at these sites.

Close to 80% of the time, we find little to no oil in the ground or we find that oil levels are within acceptable levels, meaning no expensive remediation.

The other 20% of the time, well yes, remediation was necessary but sadly, not to the extent they were quoted.

 Do you have questions we didnt answer?   Common oil tank question and answer can be found at Residential Heating Oil Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Want to speak to a live person call up MOnday to FRiday 8:00 am to 5:30 pm Esatern Standard time at 856-858-9509

Tags: NJDEP oil tank removal grant, oil tank removal new jersey, tank removal, tank leak

It's Opening Day for Mosquitoes...

Posted by David C Sulock on May 25, 2017 6:29:28 PM

Memorial Day marks an official start of summer with a three-day weekend and a guaranteed opportunity to be outside. It is also an opening for mosquitoes to feed, and the longer you are outside the more likely this will occur, particularly in the early mornings and evenings. 

In today world where speakers talk back and cell phones allow a constant connection to information, people are becoming less tolerant to inconvenience and mosquitoes tops the list this time of year.    People are becoming more used to hearing about Mosquito Remediation as a service they can rely on to take back their yards.

Mosquito remediation, mosquito extermination or mosquito control are all descriptions on the management of these pests.   Science has allowed us too safely and effectively reduce the mosquito population in a given area by utilizing barrier sprays that help knockdown current populations and lower future population growth.   These sprays are proven to help keep you outside without the bothersome biting.

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Mosquito control (mosquito remediation) barrier sprays outperform the tradition of masking your scent that is attempted with citronella candles, garlic spray, scented oils and flowers meant to ward off mosquitoes.   By applying a barrier to your surroundings as opposed to your person (have you ever read the warning label on DEET containing lotions?) you stop the mosquitoes before they bite.

In today's environment, backyards are considered an extension of the house and people want to be comfortable wherever they are.  The familiar pain and itch after being bitten by a mosquito is an annoying part of being outside and drives many people indoors or even to apply chemicals to their person to ward off mosquitoes.

Mornings and evenings when the temperatures are cooler are those times that mosquitoes come out to pray.   Mosquitoes, due to their size (a whopping 2 millimeters), dislike the heat of the day  (the Asian tiger mosquito is the exception) and stay out of the sun or else they could bake and dry out. Mosquitoes are engineered to reproduce at large quantities, with the female being the only one that actually bites.  Females need blood to lay their eggs, your blood, and the blood from dogs, cats, any blood helps these females reproduce.  These blood meals are also what makes mosquitoes a vector of disease -  as a mosquito will feed off several hosts (you,  your friend, even the friend of the friend you don’t even know) for a blood meal increasing the chance of transmitting disease which each person bitten.How do you combat mosquitoes?  Mosquito control or in the industry mosquito remediation is how you  manage mosquitoes. 

Mosquito remediation, mosquito extermination or mosquito control are all descriptions on the management of these pests.   Science has allowed us too safely and effectively reduce the mosquito population in a given area by utilizing barrier sprays that help knockdown current populations and lower future population growth.   These sprays are proven to help keep you outside without the bothersome biting.                     Shed.jpg

Years of remediation experience has helped Curren Environmental utilize the principals of soil an groundwater remediation to mosquito remediation. Like any successful approach you must apply the solution to appropriately to be effective.  This means applying a micro encapsulated barrier spray (low dose, think teaspoon) insecticide with copious amounts of water applied via a precision misting blower to areas where mosquitoes go and humans do not.  

The secret is in the sauce.  The micro encapsulated formula makes water wetter and allows a broad-spectrum coating to be applied to knockdown mosquitoes and provide long-term (3-week) effectiveness until the next application is performed.

Don’t be scared out of your back yard by mosquitoes this summer season.  Control and knockdown mosquitoes by using mosquito remediation.  Learn more with Curren Environmental and enjoy your yard this memorial day and throughout the summer and into the fall seasons.

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What Can You Do On Earth Day?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Apr 21, 2017 8:55:00 AM

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Earth day became a National day from Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.  Founded in 1970, Senator Nelson was inspired after witnessing the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  Following the anti-war movement, Senator Nelson thought that he could bring this to colleges across America with campus teach-ins. Working with Pete McCloskey, a Republican Congressman as co-chair they recruited Harvard student Denis Hayes.  Denis Hayes was very interested in what Senator Nelson had in mind for the environment that he directly went to interview Senator Nelson and from the interview, Denis Hayes became the national coordinator building a staff of 85 to promote events, selecting April 22nd as the Earth Day date because it fell between spring break and final exams. 

On April 22nd, 1970 over 20 million Americans were lead to streets, parks and large gatherings to demonstrate the need to for a healthy and sustainable environment. Earth Day received such support from both the Republicans and the Democrats that by the end of the first year (1970) the government created the Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Acts.  By 1990 Earth day became global with more than 200 million people in over 141 countries involved with environmental issues taking the world stage.  Recycling efforts became more global leading to the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit.  Senator Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 for his contribution of Earth Day.

Now, Earth day is celebrated by more than a billion people ever year.  What can you do on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2017?

Events in New Jersey, Central PA,  Philadelphia, and check out the EPA for events around the country.

Tank Scans & Tank Sweeps

Posted by David C Sulock on Apr 4, 2017 9:10:00 AM

Oil Tank Sweeps,  Tank Scans, GPR, Groud Penetrating Radar...

The liability associated Underground Heating Oil Tanks (USTs) is fairly well known to most buyers and sellers nowadays, but our office still gets calls regarding why a tank scan should be performed.   We explain that historically home heating oil has been stored in Underground Storage Tanks (UST’s). Homes built in the early 1900’s to around the mid 1990’s are most likey at risk to having a buried oil tank.  When tanks leak, homeowners can face environmental regulations originally written with businesses in mind, not residential homeowners.  Property owners can face cleanup costs in the thousands of dollars, and find their homes difficult to sell, because banks and mortgage loan companies do not make mortgages on properties with abandoned, untested tanks.  Rust never sleeps and Underground Oil Tanks will not last forever.

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The laws are set that when you own a property you own the problem, the courts have ruled that a current residential property owner with a leaking underground storage tank that was decommissioned or "closed" prior to the property’s purchase is now liable for cleanup costs. The residential real estate market must conduct their due diligence to include inquiry regarding underground storage tanks. You buy the property you buy the problem.

 An oil tank sweep is like a home inspection but is specific to one thing, finding an "undisclosed" buried oil tank. Tank sweeps are becoming more common in the real estate sales process.  Today both sellers and buyers are having tank sweeps performed due to the large concern over leaking tanks.  All anyone has to do is google "oil tank leak" and you will find a plethora of scary web pages, photos and horror stories of tanks leaking and the expensive headache filled experience that ensues.

The internet has made everyone more informed regarding topics that were once only known to professionals.   People now know that when you buy a property you buy the good and the bad with a home.   Good school system, check, safe neighborhood, check, oil tank leak and associated cleanup, check.   You buy a property and don't perform due diligence, you are at fault and responsible for imperfections and repairs to a property.

 

So what is a tank sweep?  There are two types with disparate costs and variable results.

First and most basic is a sweep performed with a metal detector.  These sweeps utilize metal detector that can cost only a thousand dollars and yet the charges to perform a tank sweep with a metal detector range anywhere from $50.00 up to $250.00.   Their low cost is based on the low quality of the sweep and the low cost of the equipment involved.   Metal detector tank sweeps are typically hand stamping a transaction that a tank probable isn't present.   These sweeps while on the surface make sense (buried metal, metal detector should find something), they are a needle in a hay stack.   Geology on any property will have some amount of metal (ferrous metal deposits) naturally occurring, as well as from the development of the site (we have found screws, nails, license plates, buried metal trash..  Buried metal can include buried pipes that service or serviced the property including electric lines, water, sewer, drains, as well as surface metal such as fences, metal used in the home (most tanks are close to the house).   Concrete sidewalks, driveways and patios can have wire mesh or metal rebar in the concrete that can set off a metal detector and give false positives.  All this buried metal is competing for the attention of the metal detector and can give a background reading and can mask the actual tank when encountered. This happens by the buried metal fooling individuals performing a tank sweep to adjust the sensitive of the metal detector due to the detector constantly spiking (beeping) from the background metal on a site.  Therefore, while a metal detector sounds fool proof it is the more foolish of the two options. 

The second type of tank sweep and much more throughout utilizes GPR or ground penetrating radar.   These scans range in costs that are comparable to a home inspection, but utilize specialized equipment costing tens of thousands of dollars.  Gpr is not fooled by buried debris as it utilizes radar as a detection method. Like sonar, radar sends a signal into the ground.  This radar signal can't penetrate buried objects with density such as metal tanks and accordingly when radar finds a tank, the signal is reflected back to the surface where a screen reads a graphical interpretation of the objects.  The signal is best described  as a pyramid reflection.  Pipes return a small pyramid, tanks return a bigger pyramid.

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If you want to get more technical, GPR radiates short pulses of high-frequency EM energy into the ground from a transmitting antenna.  When the EM energy (wave) encounters the interface of two materials having different properties, a portion of the energy is reflected back to the surface. Buried Oil tanks or metal pipes reflect the EM signal back to the surface, indicating a found buried object.   If the signal does not encounter a buried object the EM signals goes deeper into the ground indicating no object found.  The difference between these two readings is what allows a GPR technician to determine a buried object from normal soils. The radar can go through concrete and asphalt.

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So why hire a company like Curren to do a GPR tank scan?  First, we provide turnkey solutions including tank locating, removal testing and remediation.  Our technicians have been involved with tank removal so they are familiar with the various ways a tank system is constructed and thus know what to look for when performing a tank sweep.  When you hire a firm with over 20 years of service experience, you are dealing with a firm that has helped thousands of client. Our repeat customers and referral network is large and a testament to the quality of our service.

Curren completes tank scans with equipment costing tens of thousands of dollars.  The least expensive and reliable are metal detectors.  If you did not know, 85% of oil tanks are within a few feet of the foundation of a house.  Houses have metal, underground pipes have metals, buried metal can be found naturally and by man on any property.  These smaller metal signatures can confuse a metal detector and provide false readings, both when a tank is and is not present.   GPR does not have these limitations. 

Curren Environmental has over 20 years’ experience with tanks and all work is performed in house and by company personnel, this ensures both timely execution of projects as well as cost savings by avoiding subcontracting.  Curren is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

Tank Sweep Questions?