The Petroleum Marketers Association of America along with the National Association of Convenience Stores, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, and Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (collectively “PMAA”) sent a June 16th letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations addressing the federal Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund (“LUST Fund”).
The focus of the joint letter was opposition to the President’s FY 2018 budget request of $47 million for the LUST Fund arguing the amount is inadequate.
As PMAA’s letter notes, the LUST Fund was established in 1986 to prevent, detect, and clean up releases from federally-regulated underground storage tanks (“USTs”). A 1/10th cent-per-gallon fee provides the revenues for the LUST Fund. These organizations estimate that almost 90 percent of the funds are provided directly to states, territories, and tribes to implement UST remediation and regulatory programs.
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality utilizes monies from the LUST Fund in operating some of its UST programs.
PMAA argues that the FY 2018 budget for this program should be funded at the previous fiscal year level of approximately $92 million. They believe that the proposed amount of $47 million would cut funding in half and return responsibility for prevention programs back to the state and local governments. This action would arguably result in:
- States not receiving leaking UST prevention funding
- Significant reduction in cleanup funding
- Elimination of technical support for states