Eliminating the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Backlog Will Require at Least $549 Million (November 2009)

The General Assembly established the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program within the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 1985 in response to a federal mandate to regulate USTs. Since the UST Program’s inception, North Carolina has spent more than $543.7 million to clean up UST incidents. Even so, a significant cleanup backlog still remains and North Carolina’s financial liability continues to grow. The evaluation discusses how North Carolina can reduce the backlog and limit future financial liabilities by introducing a risk-based system of financial responsibility for commercial tank owners and requiring greater financial responsibility from noncommercial tank owners.

Final Report

Executive Summary



Relevant Legislation:

  • S.L 2012-142: Provided a non-recurring appropriation of $4.9 million to the Noncommercial Fund to reimburse approved claims in the backlog
  • S.L. 2011-145, Section 28.25A.(b): Redirected the portion of the motor fuels inspection tax that had been dedicated to the UST Cleanup Funds to the Highway Fund
  • S.L. 2010-154: Required training of UST operators.

Press Coverage: