In Arkansas, a state-run trust fund is helping keep the state clean by supporting the efforts of operators to clean up storage tank releases. While great improvements have been made in storage tank safety and technology in the past few decades, there are still many storage tanks in operation that were commissioned prior to 1984. This was the year in which Congress began to pass legislation regulating underground storage tanks in an effort to reduce the amount of storage tank leaks that were contaminating groundwater. New tanks must-have safety features such as double-wall construction, but many of these older tanks were single-wall and were prone to rusting and leaking.
The fund is supported by a fee of $0.003 per gallon of fuel paid by wholesalers to the state. The fund, which was created in 1989, helps:
- Assist underground storage tank owners in meeting the federal financial assurance requirements.
- Provide partial reimbursement of cleanup costs to tank owners who have reported a release and undertaken corrective action.
- Provide partial reimbursement to eligible owners for compensating third parties for damages caused by accidental releases.
“Currently 68 eligible sites are being cleaned up with reimbursement from the trust fund. Since 1990, the fund has distributed a total of $94,102,244 to 425 sites for cleanup and $11,347,412 to third parties for damages that resulted from petroleum product leaks,” according to Insurance News.
We’ve also written about similar trust funds being run in California and Michigan. Check out our blogs to learn more about how storage tank funds are keeping the environment safe by making cleanup economically viable for all parties.