UST cleanup fund shortfall

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 6, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Just last year Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) carried SB 1161 to extend the sunset clause for funding cleanup of petroleum underground storage tanks (UST) from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2016.  It was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.  

However, in October of last year the State Water Resources Board notified claimants that the Cleanup Fund was delaying reimbursements to those already approved due to a low cash balance.  In a January 28 update, staff announced that the same restrictions would still be in effect for all but "Priority Class A claimants", essentially "mom and pop" operations.

The Cleanup Fund was initially setup in 1989 and revenues are generated by a fee of 1.4 cents for every gallon of petroleum placed in a UST in the State.  Proceeds from the collection of this fee are used to reimburse tank owners for a portion of their expenses in cleaning up a leaking UST site.  The State Water Board has continued to receive payment requests faster than they can be paid and a backlog has developed.  Moreover, the revenue drop has accelerated due to the recent decline in the economy.  

New Letters of Commitment from the Cleanup Fund contain a contingency clause which makes it clear that payment will be subject to availability of funds.  

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989