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Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program Changes May 1, 2012

On May 1, 2012, legislative amendments to Part 213, Leaking Underground Storage Tanks, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA), were signed by Governor Snyder and became immediately effective.  The amendments require the use of the Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA) processes developed by the American Society of Testing & Materials (ASTM) as the basis for addressing contaminated properties.  The legislative changes also modify time frames for reports required to be submitted by owners or operators responsible for leaking underground storage tank releases. If the required reports, (which are to document corrective actions taken at a leaking underground storage tank (LUST) site based on the ASTM RBCA standard), are not audited by the DEQ within specified timeframes, they are considered approved by operation of law.  Overall, the amendments intend to provide more cost effective and efficient closures of LUST releases while maintaining acceptable protectiveness of human health.

The May 1st legislation also amended Part 215, Refined Petroleum Fund (RPF) of the NREPA.  The Part 215 changes repealed the DEQ's obligation to evaluate and annually update a list of QCs and CPs approved to perform leaking UST cleanup work.  The owner or operator is now responsible for assuring that the consultant, who must sign an affidavit attesting to their qualifications as well as the content of a Closure Report, meets the minimum QC qualifications established in Part 213.  Additionally, the Part 215 revisions include extending the collection of the RPF fee for three years, to December 31, 2015.  The fee is currently used, in part, to fund state costs incurred when addressing orphaned (no liable party) leaking UST sites.  The new law also requires that the DEQ establish an Underground Storage Tanks Cleanup Advisory Board that is to report to the legislature, by March 1, 2013, recommendations on using RPF money to assist owners and operators in financing corrective actions required by Part 213.

The links to the public acts are given below:

Here is the compiled Part 213 statute.

With the changes to Part 213 on May 1, 2012, the management of ‘free product' has been changed to the management of NAPL (non-aqueous phase liquids).  Corrective action requirements regarding NAPL are described in Part 213, which incorporates the following American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) Standards by reference:

  • E1739 - Standard Guide for Risk-Based Corrective Action Applied at Petroleum Release Sites
  • E2081 - Standard Guide for Risk-Based Corrective Action
  • E2531 - Standard Guide for Development of Conceptual Site Models and Remediation Strategies for Light Nonaqueous-Phase Liquids Released to the Subsurface