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Unregulated Heating Oil Tank Program (UHOT) Homeowner's Guide

 

Homeowner’s Guide to the Unregulated Heating Oil Tank Program (UHOT)

Introduction

The Unregulated Heating Oil Tank (UHOT) Program allows pre-qualified environmental professionals to investigate and remediate discharges from Unregulated Heating Oil Tanks, including all residential fuel oil underground storage tanks, with limited oversight by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). All such tank cases are subject to possible audit by NJDEP. An unregulated heating oil tank is any size residential heating oil tank, or one or more heating oil tanks on the same non-residential property with an aggregate capacity of 2,000 gallons or less. An unregulated heating oil tank can be either an above ground or a below ground tank. Gasoline and diesel tanks are not unregulated heating oil tanks and are not included in the UHOT program.

Process  (More Detailed Information)

A party remediating a qualifying unregulated heating oil tank may participate in the UHOT Program only after the remediation has been completed.

To pre-qualify to remediate Unregulated Heating Oil Tanks, environmental professionals must either be a:

  1. Certified Subsurface Evaluator, in accordance with the Underground Storage Tanks rules, N.J.A.C. 7:14B, by:

    1. Holding a valid New Jersey Underground Storage Tank (UST) certification in Subsurface Evaluation. This certification must be maintained in full force and effect. The loss or lapse of this certification shall be grounds for immediate removal from the UHOT Program; and
    2. Being employed by a firm that holds a valid New Jersey UST certification in Subsurface Evaluation. This certification must be maintained in full force and effect. The loss or lapse of this certification shall be grounds for immediate removal from the UHOT Program. Or
  2. Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP), in accordance with the Regulations of the New Jersey Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board, N.J.A.C. 7:26I.

Note: A Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) can oversee the remediation of and issue a Response Action Outcome (RAO) for a UHOT if the UHOT is being remediated as part of an entire site RAO, if the UHOT is part of an Area Of Concern (AOC) RAO where more than one AOC has been remediated, or if the UHOT is being remediated at a site subject to the Industrial Site Recovery Act (N.J.S.A. 13:1K-6 et seq.). The remediation of all other UHOTs must be overseen by the NJDEP through the UHOT Program.

Homeowners or other responsible parties may select any pre-qualified environmental professional listed as a certified Subsurface Evaluator or an LSRP. The directory for certified Subsurface Evaluators is now available under the Site Remediation category of NJDEP's Data Miner reports. Under the "Underground Storage Tanks" section, choose either "DEP certified UST Firms" for a complete list of all certified Subsurface Evaluators or "DEP Certified UST firms by County" for a list of certified Subsurface Evaluators located in the specific county selected. It is necessary to make sure that the firm is certified in Subsurface Evaluation in the "Cert Type" column on the right side of the report. The directory for LSRPs is also available under the Site Remediation category of NJDEP's Data Miner. Under the "Licensed Site Remedial Professional Information" section, choose "Licensed Site Remedial Professional List" for a complete list of all LSRPs.

To obtain a No Further Action ("NFA") letter under the UHOT Program, a pre-qualified environmental professional or the homeowner shall submit the following to the NJDEP/Bureau of Case Assignment and Initial Notice:

  1. A completed Unregulated Heating Oil Tank (UHOT) System Remediation Form.
    (These forms replace the prior UHOT Questionnaire.)

  2. A non-refundable check in the amount of $400, payable to the "Treasurer, State of New Jersey"
  3. A copy of all appropriate Remediation Documents prepared in accordance with the reporting requirements contained in Technical Requirements for Site Remediation ("Technical Requirements," N.J.A.C. 7:26E)

If an incident has been reported to the NJDEP since 2002, the status of the incident on a particular property can be determined via NJDEP's Data Miner. Select "Search by Category," then select "Incident and Complaints" from the dropdown list and click on Submit. Searches can be performed by address in the report "Incidents by Address" to find the incident number if the incident number is not known or by incident number in the report "Incidents by Communications Center Number" if it is known. Note, the date range of the search may need to be changed when searching by address. The Program Interest Number (PI#) can be found in the report "Incidents by Communications Center Number" and should be noted for future reference.

If the status of the incident is "closed sent to UHOT" or "UHOT Central File" that means that a report has been submitted to the UHOT Program. The status of the case, including whether an NFA letter has been issued, can be determined using the PI number generated in the above report or using the site address, via NJDEP's Data Miner. Select "Search by Site," change to the "ID" tab, and under "Search Criteria" change the Program to "Site Remediation." Type in the Program Interest number found above in the "ID" field, click the "Program Interest" radio button and click "Submit." When the site comes up, change the drop down on the right side of the report from "Case Tracking Tools" to "SRP Site Details," then click the green arrow. On the next screen, the "Document Status" column indicates whether the case is open or closed. If desired, click the blue link in the "More Info" column for more information.

To obtain a copy of a previously issued No Further Action letter or a copy of a report, contact NJDEP's Office of Records Access (OPRA) at: www.nj.gov/dep/opra/. Click "Submit an Online OPRA Records Request."

Click here if you have any questions about the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Remediation Upgrade and Closure Fund.

Note:
The UHOT Program will accept sites (cases) which undergo all aspects of remediation (soil and ground water) on unregulated heating oil tanks. Some cases may be referred to other offices as detailed at: UHOT Guidance.

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