Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund


The Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund Act of 1989 (Act) created the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund Program (Fund) to help owners and operators of petroleum USTs satisfy federal and state financial responsibility requirements. To fulfill the federal financial requirements, the Fund is available to assist UST owners and operators with the costs to cleanup contaminated soil and groundwater caused by leaking petroleum tanks. The federal financial responsibility requirements also require the Fund to provide certain coverage for third-party liability due to unauthorized releases of petroleum from USTs.

Established by SB 299 in 1989, modified by SB 2004 in 1990, and other subsequent legislation, the Fund requires every owner of a petroleum UST that is subject to regulation under the Health and Safety Code to pay a per gallon fee to the Fund. This fee, which began on January 1, 1991, has increased over time and currently generates in excess of $180 million annually.

To be eligible to file a claim with the Fund, the claimant must be a current or past owner or operator of the UST from which an unauthorized release of petroleum has occurred, and be required to undertake corrective action as directed by the regulatory agency. Other eligibility conditions include compliance with applicable state UST permitting requirements and regulatory agency cleanup orders.