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When a petroleum release occurs from a regulated and compliant fuel underground storage tank system
, the release must be reported to the Underground Storage Tank Management Program (USTMP). The Georgia Underground Storage Tank (GUST) trust fund
will subsequently reimburse all approved investigative and remediation expenses up to $1,000,000, minus an initial $10,000 deductible.
More often than you might think, a second release of fuel, unrelated to the first release, occurs while investigation/remediation of the first release is still ongoing. An example would be failure due to corrosion of one tank in a three tank system, where all of the tanks are the same age. Then, six months later, a second tank fails. Under this and similar scenarios, a tank owner can often be reluctant to report the second release because the thought of paying a second $10,000 deductible is unpleasant.
Some fuel release investigation/remediation projects result in expenditures exceeding the $1,000,000 trust fund ceiling for a single release. A second release of fuel compounds the time and cost involved in ultimately completing site remediation and receiving a status of No Further Action Required (NFAR) from the USTMP. A second release can also push expenditures necessary to receive the NFAR status above the $1,000,000 GUST trust fund ceiling for a single release, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While not reporting a second release to the USTMP and saving a second $10,000 deductible may seem attractive to the responsible party, this maneuver may prove quite counterproductive and costly. Additionally, the regulations
stipulate that each release must be reported to the USTMP.
Should you have any questions about release reporting or trust fund issues, please contact us.