If you had been researching about the removal of your oil tank at home, you would have come across permitting requirements to make it happen. Then you reckon: Why does it have to be very difficult to remove just one oil tank? Well, here’s why.
Avoid Health Hazards to Human Life
This is the major reason why permits are needed for oil tank removals. Oil tanks contain hazardous substances that can wreak havoc if not handled properly. An oil spill can contaminate the soil, seep through to the groundwater, and has immediate negative health effects on you and your family. If ocean oil spills are dangerous to aquamarine life like dolphins, it will surely have a negative effect on you too.
Prolonged exposure to oil spills can go from bad to worse for your health. In minor cases, it can just irritate your skin and eyes, cause you to experience headaches and dizziness, and of course, give you a good amount of stress. However, the worst-case scenario of this health hazard is a greater chance of cancer, progressively weakening your immune system, and can even cause the onset of irreparable respiratory, reproductive, and liver damage.
Ensure Everyone’s Safety
Removing an oil tank is a delicate job. It can pose danger not just to the workers but also for the household and literally to the house itself. When an underground oil tank is located too near to the premises, a competent geotechnical engineer needs to assess the site and plan a safe and effective shoring plan to ensure that any utilities and house structure are supported sturdily.
Also, before any excavations commence, the tank is filled with a non-combustible gas to reduce the oxygen levels inside the tank that can cause it to explode. Construction health and safety plans are also required by OSHA and labor agencies to safeguard the onsite workers.
Protect the Environment
Oil contaminated soil will effectively render it barren. Oil goes inside the interstices of soil that it blocks anything that wants to go through it. According to geologists at https://www.simpletankservices.com/, a direct effect would be the death of plant life on that patch of your contaminated garden. When the oil has been leaking from your tank for a while, it will also cause the ground to form brownish spots, definitely, a sight for sore eyes.
Another consequence of soil contamination is the threat of polluting the groundwater table. Just like any liquid, oil can go through any nook and cranny that it can squeeze itself into and it can reach the source of your tap depending on how long it has been leaking into the ground. And as anybody can agree, polluted water is NEVER GOOD.
Ensure That Authorized Personnel is Handling the Job
Oil tank removal companies have certified professionals that carry out the job. These include engineers, geologists, hygienists, and excavators. All have special licenses issued by your state and county. Even the company itself has to have a license to do it and are obliged to give their final report after the decommissioning process. Environmental consultants are also hired to coordinate the proper disposal of hazardous wastes.
All personnel and companies that are licensed to do an oil tank removal will have been registered to your state’s environmental protection agency and are also required to regularly undergo proficiency exams. Another indication that your state tax is being put to good use.
Proper Procedures in Oil Tank Decommissioning is Followed
If you are unaware, there are standard procedures to be followed in the removal of your tank. Permits are necessary to ensure that the oil tank removal company has ample knowledge of what they will be doing and that their process in doing the task is in accordance with the state, local, and county protocols on how to manage to decommission of oil tanks especially, USTs (underground storage tank).
State environmental agencies, public works, and building and safety departments each have their own concerns in safely managing the removal process. Even your homeowners’ association needs to know that your contractor is doing the job correctly. All these agencies and departments aim to prevent any unwanted repercussions if mistakes are made during an oil tank decommissioning.
Manage Proper Hazardous Waste Disposals
Since oil inside the tank and the tank itself are considered hazardous wastes, there should be standard protocols and measures followed to avoid any disastrous outcomes. This is also one function of the agencies that oversee these kinds of activities. They should be able to be certain that contractors and companies licensed to do the job know the ins and outs of correct hazardous waste disposal and will abide by it.
Removed oil from your tank is, in fact, transferred to a recycling facility where they clean and refine the oil to be used again for home heating, or other industrial uses. Your oil tank will also be discarded to a designated landfill by your county or city. Moreover, a few oil spills here and there during the removal will also be taken care of and coordinated to your state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
If you have removed a leaking underground tank, proper remediation protocols would need to be followed. Environmental consultants would need to be included in the team to properly coordinate the disposal of contaminated soil. Make sure that there is nothing left that could leech into the groundwater table and make everyone safe.
Prevent Loose Ends
When the job has been done, oversight agencies see to it that the project has been accomplished satisfactorily without anything missed and nothing that will bite their ass in years to come. The removal company has to secure a Final Storage tank Abandonment report and will need to receive the “No Further Action Letter” from these agencies.
Of course, there will be comments when your contractor submits the final report to these departments but that is your taxpayer dollar working. You would have to be thankful that all those people working for the government are doing their job.
After reading all of these, now you understand why permits are there. It’s not just a ploy to extort more money from the people but to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of the people doing the job, the household, and the community at large.