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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 12, 2017 04:52 PM
From: Senator John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Underground Storage Tank Programs

In the very near future, I will be introducing legislation to extend both the Underground Storage Tank Environmental Cleanup Program and the Pollution Prevention Program, which are set to terminate on June 30, 2017. Additionally, my legislation will update the annual transfer from the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund (USTIF) to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in order to maintain existing programs and service levels.

Under the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act (Act 32 of 1989), the USTIF serves to provide financial assistance to property owners for cleanup related to the release of regulated substances from underground storage tanks. The Environmental Cleanup Program and the Pollution Prevention Program were added through a 1998 amendment to provide funding for smaller cleanup and proactive projects that may not be otherwise eligible for USTIF assistance. Transfers from the USTIF, which is supported by program fees, have traditionally funded the Environmental Cleanup and Pollution Prevention Programs and regulatory and enforcement activities by DEP.

Accordingly, my legislation would:
  • Extend the sunsets of the Environmental Cleanup and the Pollution Prevention Programs by five years, to June 30, 2022.
  • Increase the cap for a popular program within the Environmental Cleanup Program dedicated to aiding homeowners with underground heating oil tanks, from $500,000 to $750,000.
  • Reduce the annual allocation to the Pollution Prevention Program from $1 million to $350,000, due to decreased need.
  • Increase amount of reimbursement that DEP may request from the USTIF board for program activities, including inspection and enforcement, from $3 million to $7 million, in order to avoid increases in program fees.

Since the passage Act 32, DEP reports success in cleaning up 88% of over 16,700 leaks or spills from regulated underground tanks. My legislation would enable DEP to continue this important cleanup effort, as well as continue to provide required permits, inspections, and related services to businesses and other property owners.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 717-787-7105.

Introduced as SB649