NATSO Expresses Concern Over Proposed Leaking UST Program Cuts

NATSO, along with a number of other retail fuel associations, recently sent a letter to key lawmakers urging them to reject the Trump Administration's proposal to cut the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) trust fund by almost 50 percent.  In his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request, President Trump sought just $47 million for the LUST trust fund; in previous years Congress has provided between $90 million and $100 million for this program.

The LUST Trust Fund was established in 1986 to prevent, detect, and clean up releases from federally-regulated USTs.  It is financed by a 0.1 cent/gallon fee on retail motor fuel sales.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides almost 90 percent of its LUST money directly to states to implement UST cleanup and prevention programs, alleviating costs that could otherwise fall on fuel retailers.  
 
As NATSO and the other retail groups noted in its letter, insufficient funding would mean:
 
  • States would not receive leaking UST prevention funding -- No funding to offer technical assistance to tank owners, or to do compliance checks and inspections.
  • Significant reduction in cleanup funding -- Significant reduction of funds for leaking UST sites to states.  Elimination of EPA staff who oversee cleanup projects.  Elimination of oversight and audits of state tank funds.
  • Elimination of Technical Support for States -- Elimination of EPA research projects including accelerated diesel fuel corrosion studies.  Elimination of training for state program inspectors, compliance officers, and technical and engineering support for state program authorities.  Elimination of national conferences for state programs. 
The President's budget proposal is just that -- a proposal. Congress ultimately will make its own determination as to how much funding to provide the LUST trust fund.  NATSO will continue to urge lawmakers to provide sufficient funding for this important program. 
David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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