In December of 2017, the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) published a Summary of State Programs and Data on Abandoned Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and Facilities Report. The purpose of this report was to collect information about abandoned tank programs nationwide with the intention to share that information with other interested states. All states were given a questionnaire focusing on federally regulated tanks only, and the information gathered was based on responses from 31 states.
The report summarizes and compiles information on a few main points including: how states fund the removal and cleanup of abandoned USTs and facilities, how many abandoned USTs and facilities have these states addressed, and what incentives or unique programs do states have for addressing abandoned USTs and facilities.
Some of the more interesting finding included the three main sources of funding for addressing abandoned facilities. These sources primarily consisted of state petroleum funds, federal leaking underground storage tank funds and brownfield grants. The report states that the average cost to investigate and clean up an abandoned UST site was $60,597 and the average cost for removing a UST was $7,413. Also included in the report in Appendix A is a list of resources for addressing abandoned tanks and facilities.
From all the information gathered, one key area in which the report provides information is for preventing abandoned USTs. States’ approaches to addressing abandoned tanks and abandoned facilities vary widely like just about every other aspect of the UST program. As reported, some states are successful at getting abandoned tanks removed and cleaning up abandoned sites. This can be because of the use of state funds that are designated for these purposes, or it can be due to unique funding sources.
Abandoned USTs present many unique challenges; however, they can also create opportunities to upgrade the existing site or even repurpose the land for other economic benefit. To see the full report and all of the information gathered, please visit ASTSWMO’s Summary of State Programs and Data on Underground Storage Tanks and Facilities.