OLR Research Report


July 23, 2002

 

2002-R-0628

UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK REMOVAL PROGRAMS

 

By: Paul Frisman, Associate Analyst

The account (1) reimburses responsible parties for expenses greater than $ 10,000 but less than $ 1 million related to cleaning up leaking nonresidential underground storage tanks and (2) pays administrative costs for the program.

The law (CGS § 22a-449c(2)) had allowed UST owners who met certain requirements to be reimbursed for clean-up expenses up to $ 3 million dollars. To be eligible, a responsible party must have (1) reported the leak to DEP before December 31, 1987 and (2) spent more than $ 500,000 to remediate it by June 19, 1991. However, PA 02-80 increased the account's reimbursement limit from $ 3 million to $ 5 million, effective July 1, 2002. It allows the DEP commissioner to pay any part of the reimbursement that exceeds $ 3 million in annual payments over a maximum of five years.

The commercial program is funded by a portion of the petroleum products gross earnings tax (CGS § 22a-449b). Currently, one-third of the quarterly total of the gross earnings tax is earmarked for the Underground Storage Tank Clean-Up Account. But, beginning October 1, 2002, the share of the tax revenue earmarked for this purpose will be a flat $ 3 million per quarter (PA 02-80). The act also eliminated a requirement that the comptroller stop crediting revenue to the account when its balance exceeds $ 15 million and resume when it falls below $ 5 million. (But, § 75 of PA 02-1 of the May Special Session prohibits transfers of the tax payments due in FY 2002-03 to the Account. )