Green legislation to revitalize underground storage tank cleanup

LANSING—Legislation to revitalize Michigan’s leaking underground storage tank clean-up fund and program was approved by the Michigan Senate on Wednesday, said bill sponsor state Sen. Mike Green.

“Commercial properties are often abandoned or stand idle because of contamination caused by leaking underground storage tanks,” said Green, R-Mayville. “For years, the Legislature has raided funds intended to clean these sites up and spent the money on other unrelated purposes.

“This legislation will put an end to that practice and restore a program that cleans up contaminated sites and puts them back into economic action. It is a win-win scenario that is good for the environment and job creation.”

For years, tank owner and operators have paid a fee that went to the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Financial Assurance (MUSTFA) fund to support clean-up operations of existing leaking tanks and preventive measures designed to avoid future leaks. Despite industry support for the program and fee, the funds have not been used for their intended purpose for some time.

Senate Bill 791 revitalizes and modernizes the program, strengthens the requirement that the funds be used for clean-up purposes, and creates a reimbursement program that will result in current contaminated sites being cleaned up and redeveloped for economic development purposes.

“That means a cleaner environment, reduced threats to public health and more jobs,” Green added.

In an alliance that is often rare in Lansing, the legislation is supported by business, industry and environmental groups. SB 791 passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support and will now advance to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.