This three-part series delves into the issue of oil and gasoline contamination from leaking underground storage tanks and the impact on homeowners and the environment.
Even after homeowners remove oil tanks from their properties, contaminated soil can remain. And worse — those oil plumes can spread underground to neighbors who then have their own remediation problems to deal with.
One environmental attorney calls it the Wild Wild West – insurance companies exclude liability for home fuel oil tanks, so homeowners are left on the hook for remediation.
Thousands of old gas stations have tanks still in the ground, while others sit abandoned. Cleanup is slow and expensive.
These stories are part of Dirty Little Secrets, a series investigating New Jersey’s toxic legacy. Participating news partners include New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC, WHYY, NJTV, NJ Spotlight, Jersey Shore Hurricane News, WBGO, New Brunswick Today and the Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies. The collaboration is facilitated by The Center for Investigative Reporting, with help from the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State.