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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.429

Introduced by   Representatives Errecart of Shelburne and Dostis of Waterbury

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Conservation

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to amend the requirements for

aboveground and underground storage tanks and the assistance programs for replacement of each.  The secretary of natural resources would be authorized to adopt rules for the design and proper installation of aboveground storage tanks.  Delivery of petroleum or a toxic, corrosive, or other chemical would be prohibited to certain types of underground storage tanks (USTs) if the UST failed to meet adopted standards.  The secretary of natural resources would be authorized to transfer money annually between the motor fuel and the heating fuel accounts of the petroleum cleanup fund, provided that the transfer is approved by the petroleum cleanup fund advisory committee and does not exceed $250,000.00.  Owners of an underground or aboveground heating fuel storage tank used to heat a mobile home park would be eligible to apply for a grant to assist in the closure, replacement, or upgrade of a tank.  The sunset date for the fee assessed against retail sellers of heating oil or kerosene would be extended to 2011 from 2008.  The amount the secretary could provide as a loan for the replacement or removal of a category one UST would increase from $40,000.00 to $75,000.00.  The bill would also specify from which account of the petroleum cleanup fund such loans would be provided, and would require the owner of five or more facilities on which a category one UST is located to pay five percent interest on a loan from the loan assistance program.

AN ACT RELATING TO UNDERGROUND AND ABOVEGROUND STORAGE TANKS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1927(d) is amended to read:

(d)  After December 22, 1998, no No person shall deliver a regulated substance to a category one tank which is not visibly designated on the premises in a manner prescribed by the agency as not meeting standards adopted by the secretary related to prevent releases due to corrosion protection, spills, spill prevention, leak detection, financial responsibility or overfills overfill protection.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1929a is added to read:

§ 1929a.  Standards for aboveground storage tanks

(a)  No later than December 31, 2011, the secretary shall adopt rules addressing the design and proper installation of aboveground storage tanks.

(b)  After January 1, 2012, no person shall offer for sale, install, or substantially improve an aboveground storage tank that does not meet the standards adopted by the secretary under subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 1941(a) and (g) are amended to read:

(a)  A fund to be known as the petroleum cleanup fund is created in the state treasury, to be expended by the secretary of the agency of natural resources.  The fund shall consist of licensing fees and petroleum tank fees assessed under the provisions of this chapter, loan repayments, and disbursements that have been recovered, except for underground storage tank permit fees and licensing fees for tank inspectors.  The fund shall have two accounts: the motor fuel account and the heating fuel account.  The motor fuel account shall consist of all moneys deposited into the fund, with the exception of the licensing fees for heating oil and kerosene described in section 1942 of this title.  The heating fuel account shall consist of all the moneys deposited into the fund from the licensing fees for heating oil and kerosene sold or used in the state.  All balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund.  The secretary may transfer money, in each fiscal year, between the accounts, provided that the transfer is approved by the advisory committee established under subsection (e) of this section and does not exceed $250,000.00.  Interest earned by the fund shall be deposited into the fund.  Disbursements from the fund shall be made by the state treasurer on warrants drawn by the commissioner of finance and management.  The secretary shall seek to recover from responsible parties costs incurred under subdivision (b)(8) of this section.

(g)  The owner of a farm or residential underground heating fuel storage tank used for on-premises heating or an underground or aboveground heating fuel storage tank used for on-premises heating by a mobile home park resident, as defined in section 6201 of this title, that desires assistance to close, replace, or upgrade the tank may apply to the secretary for such assistance.  The financial assistance may be in the form of grants or loans of up to $1,000.00 or the costs of closure, replacement, or upgrade, whichever is less.  Grants or loans shall be made only to the current property owners, except at mobile home parks where a grant may be awarded to a mobile home park resident.  To be eligible to receive the grant or loan, an environmental site assessment must be conducted by a qualified consultant during the tank closure, replacement, or upgrade if the tank is an underground heating fuel storage tank closure, replacement, or upgrade.  In addition, if the closed tank is to be replaced with another an underground heating fuel storage tank, the replacement tank and piping shall provide a level of environmental protection at least equivalent to that provided by a double wall tank and secondarily contained piping.  Grants or loans shall be awarded on a priority basis to projects that will avoid the greatest environmental or health risks.  The secretary shall also give priority to applicants who are replacing their underground heating fuel tanks with aboveground heating fuel storage tanks, that will be installed in accordance with the secretary's recommended standards.  The secretary shall also give priority to lower income applicants.  The owner of a farm or residential aboveground heating fuel storage tank used for on-premises heating that desires assistance to close, replace, or upgrade the tank may apply to the secretary for such assistance.  The financial assistance may be in the form of grants or loans of up to $1,000.00 or the costs of closure, replacement, or upgrade, whichever is less.  Grants or loans shall be made only to the current property owners.  To be eligible to receive the grant or loan, the owner must provide the previous year's financial information, and, if the replacement tank is an aboveground tank, must assure that any work to replace or upgrade a tank shall be done in accordance with industry standards (National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, Code 31), as it existed on July 1, 2004, until another date or edition is specified by rule of the secretary.  The secretary shall provide these loans or grants, giving priority to low income applicants, based on eligibility criteria that are consistent with the economic assistance authorized under the home heating fuel assistance program.  The secretary shall only authorize up to $150,000.00 $200,000.00 in assistance for underground and aboveground heating fuel tanks in any one fiscal year from the heating fuel account for this purpose.  The application must be accompanied by the following information:

(1)  proof of ownership, including information disclosing all owners of record of the property, except in the case where the applicant is a mobile home park resident;

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Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 1942(b) is amended to read:

(b)  There is assessed against every seller receiving more than $10,000.00 annually for the retail sale of heating oil or kerosene, sold in this state and not used to propel a motor vehicle, a licensing fee of one-half cent per gallon of such heating oil or kerosene.  This fee shall be subject to the collection, administration, and enforcement provisions of chapter 233 of Title 32, and the fees collected under this subsection by the commissioner of taxes shall be deposited into the petroleum cleanup fund.  This fee provision shall terminate April 1, 2008 2011.

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. § 1944 is amended to read:

§ 1944.  Underground storage tank loan assistance

               program

(a)  The secretary may make individual loans of up to $40,000.00 $75,000.00 for:

(1)  the replacement or removal of underground motor fuel storage tanks category one tanks used for the storage of petroleum products and permitted under section 1927 of this title and in existence on January 1, 1987.  Such loans may be made only for the replacement or removal of motor fuel tanks at a retail gasoline outlet that sells less than 20,000 gallons of gasoline per month or at a municipal facility when the municipality has a population of less than 2,500 people.  These loans shall be made from the motor fuel account of the fund established under subsection 1941(a) of this title;

(2)  the removal, or the replacement or improvement, or both, of piping, tank-top sumps, and other components of the secondary containment and release detection systems of category one tanks, for the purpose of reducing the likelihood of a release of regulated substance to the environment.  These loans shall be made from the motor fuel account of the fund established under subsection 1941(a) of this title;

(3)  the removal, replacement, or upgrade of an underground or aboveground storage tank used for the storage of petroleum products for the purpose of reducing the likelihood of a release of petroleum into the environment.  These loans shall be made from the motor fuel account or heating fuel account of the fund established under subsection 1941(a) of this title, depending upon the use or contents of the tank.

* * *

(c)  The loans will be at a zero interest rate, except that a person who owns five or more facilities shall have an interest rate of four percent.  As used in this subsection, “facility” shall mean the property upon which a category one tank is located.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us