Thursday, February 20, 2020

California Senate OKs bill to help property owners with toxin-cleanup costs

The California Senate recently passed a bill, updating the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Cleanup Fund program, which includes a provision to create a Site Cleanup Subaccount (SCSA) to investigate and clean up properties in which responsibility for the contamination is unidentified.

California Senate Bill (SB) 445 would change the UST cleanup fund in several ways, and the creation of the SCSA would be expected to significantly help property owners who otherwise might be spending between tens of thousands to more than a million dollars on contamination cleanup.

The UST fund was created by the Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Trust Fund Act in 1989 and requires any property owners who have a UST to pay a per-gallon storage fee for petroleum kept in the tank. Administered by the California State Water Resources Control Board, the fund’s new subaccount is expected to aid small businesses and individuals by reimbursing them for expenses incurred while cleaning up hazardous chemicals.

Additionally, the SCSA also would provide funds for cleaning up abandoned sites that might be leaking hazardous materials, protecting the public from threats to human safety and health, as well as threats to the environment.

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California State Senate

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