Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund Reaches Major Milestone

March 11, 2019

The Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund was established in 2014 to assist owners and operators of refined petroleum underground storage tanks with meeting federal financial responsibility requirements.  The fund reached a significant milestone in 2019 with over 50 percent of all Michigan facilities using the fund as a type of insurance and a mechanism to address environmental risks. 

Gas station pumps. Remediation work at a gas station

The fund receives $20 million annually from a one cent fee charged on all refined petroleum products sold in the state.  Owners and operators who discover a release are then able to utilize the fund to address the release.  One example of a facility that utilized the fund was a gas station near Alpena.  In January 2016, a release of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel occurred.  The owner submitted a claim, and swift actions were taken by the owner to address the immediate threat of the release.  Additional steps were taken over the next three years to address the risk to public health and the environment.  In total, the fund supported $559,000 of costs for cleanup after the deductible was met by the owner. 

In addition to the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund utilized by current owners and operators of sites, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality also conducts state cleanup efforts for sites with no current owner or operator.  The combination of efforts has led to an overall decrease in the number of sites needing to be addressed across the state.

Additional information regarding the fund and the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority responsible for overseeing the fund can be found on the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority website.

Chart showing reduction of number of contaminated gas stations over time.

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