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June 20th, 2018

LUST Fund Reauthorized in FY2019 Budget

State of Illinois has continued funding the UST Trust Fund with its FY19 budget that taxes effect July 1, 2018. Illinois maintains this UST Fund to help investigate and clean up eligible leaking tanks through the Illinois EPA’s LUST program.

Tank owners are assessed a deductible for each Incident, depending on the date of the tank registration and date of the LUST Incident.  Most site investigation and cleanup costs above that amount should be eligible for reimbursement from the UST Fund if activities are conducted in accordance with plans and budgets approved by Illinois EPA.

New owners of properties with existing LUST Incidents may also be eligible to access the UST Fund, even if they were not the owner or operator of the leaking tanks.

If you have questions about how the UST Fund works or if your tank/site is eligible to access the UST Fund, contact Nancy Valenta at nvalenta{at}gabenv.com or 773-486-2123.

July 29th, 2015

OSFM fines owner record $610,000 for UST violations

Failure to follow underground storage tank (UST) regulations can be osfmcostly, as a gas station owner in Silvis, IL recently discovered.

Baldev Singh was fined $610,000 for multiple violations by the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM). This judgment is the largest ever awarded to the OSFM against an individual owner of a UST facility.

The Rock Island County Circuit Court issued a Default Judgment Order on July 14, 2015 after Mr. Singh failed to appear to defend himself against the lawsuit filed by OSFM.

The ‘Jack and Jill’ gas station ceased operations sometime in late 2011.  OSFM first issued a notice of violation in 2012 for regulatory deficiencies regarding the two USTs.  Then in 2013, OSFM ordered the remaining gasoline from its tanks to be emptied and the USTs to be upgraded or removed.  When Mr. Singh did not comply with either notice of violation, OSFM filed a lawsuit against him in May 2014.

“Gasoline tanks left unattended with remaining fuel pose a significant risk to the public,” said Deputy Director Les Albert. “The Office of the State Fire Marshal remains vigilant in its mission to ensure the protection of lives and property.”

In a separate case, OSFM was also recently awarded a $365,000 judgment against another UST owner who did not properly remove their out-of-service USTs in Oakwood, IL.

The State of Illinois has been cracking down on UST violations.  If your facility receives a notice of violation from OSFM, do not ignore it.  Failure to address the violations can result in significant fines and penalties.  While the cases above are among the higher fines assessed, OSFM is more routinely penalizing UST owners $50,000 – $100,000, plus the cost to correct the violations.

If you need assistance with your UST violations, contact Nancy Valenta at nvalenta[at]gabenv.com or 773-486-2123.

http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=55&RecNum=13189

http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=55&RecNum=13127

May 7th, 2015

UST Fund Available to New Property Owners

Prior to 2006, any individual, partnership or corporation who bought a property in Illinois with an existing Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Incident would not be eligible to access the UST Fund to complete the clean-up of the site.  Only the original owner/operator of the tanks and Incident were eligible.

Effective January 1, 2006, however, Illinois EPA amended its rules to allow new property owners this same access to the UST Fund.  This rule change was intended to encourage redevelopment of brounderground storage tankwnfields and other potentially contaminated sites.

UST Fund

The State of Illinois maintains a UST Fund to help investigate and clean up eligible leaking tanks through the Illinois EPA’s LUST Program.  Tank owners finance this UST Fund with a $0.003 per-gallon motor fuel tax and an $0.008 per-gallon environmental impact fee.  Since its inception in 1989, this UST Fund has reimbursed tank owners more than $800 million in site investigation and clean-up costs.

Tank owners are assessed a deductible for each Incident ($5,000 / $10,000 / $15,000 / $50,000 / $100,000), depending on the date of tank registration and date of LUST Incident.  Most site investigation and clean-up costs above that amount should be eligible for reimbursement from the UST Fund if activities are conducted in accordance with plans and budgets approved by the Illinois EPA.

If you have questions about how to transfer UST Fund eligibility to a new owner, contact Nancy Valenta at 773-486-2123 or nvalenta[at]gabenv.com.

More information about this new owner eligibility can be found on the IEPA’s Public Act 94-0274 webpage.

More information about how Gabriel can help you with LUST closure can be found on our LUST Services webpage.