Pa. Holds the Line on Storage Tank Fees

September 29, 2004

Following a 10 percent increase in fees last year, the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund (USTIF) Board has unanimously agreed to maintain fees for owners of underground storage tanks licensed in Pennsylvania for 2005.

“An actuarial analysis showed that USTIF will have sufficient funds to pay claims and expenses well into 2011, two years longer than projected last year,” state Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken said. “Based on that analysis, the 10-member board decided a fee increase was not necessary.”

Koken said the improved outlook is the result of an improved investment program and claim-handling efforts that have had a positive effect on the fund’s financial condition.

The current fees of $.011 per gallon for throughput and $.0825 per gallon for capacity will generate more than $53 million for USTIF and will be used in conjunction with investment income to pay for cleanup if a spill occurs and a claim is generated.

The Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, Act 32 of 1989, created USTIF to assist owners and operators of underground storage tanks which contain gasoline, gasohol, aviation fuel, new motor fuel, hazardous substances diesel fuel, heating oil and kerosene, to name a few, in meeting the insurance requirements should a release of the contents occur. A release is generally considered to be any leak, spill, or discharge from USTs into soil or groundwater.

Administered by the Insurance Department, the USTIF program requires participation by tank owners, operators and installers and exists to ensure that underground storage tank owners and operators are able to comply with federal Environmental Protection Agency financial responsibility requirements in the event of a leak from an eligible underground storage tank. USTIF currently covers corrective action and third party liability costs on valid claims up to $1.5 million per tank per occurrence, above a $5,000 deductible per tank per occurrence. USTIF assists tank owners and operators in meeting insurance requirements.

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