Senator Yudichak Legislation Extending Environmental Cleanup Programs Approved by Senate Committee

HARRISBURG, May 22, 2017 — The Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today unanimously approved legislation authored by State Senator John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), Senate Bill 649, which extends expiring environmental cleanup programs.

Senate Bill 649 amends the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act to reauthorize grant and environmental cleanup programs administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) – the Underground Storage Tank Environmental Cleanup Program and the Underground Storage Tank Pollution Prevention Program. Both programs are currently set to expire on June 30, 2017; SB 649 extends them by five years, through June 30, 2022.

The programs assist small business and residential owners of underground storage tanks with grants ranging from $2,500 to $4,000 for environmental remediation, as well as fund necessary cleanup of underground storage tank releases that must be undertaken by DEP.

Senate Bill 649 also seeks to allow DEP to request full reimbursement from the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board for operating costs of its storage tank program—including costs of inspections and enforcement—for over 40,000 registered tanks at 13,000 facilities throughout Pennsylvania.

“The Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act contains important provisions that enable small tank owners to prevent and mitigate environmental liabilities before they become more intractable environmental problems for Pennsylvania,” said State Senator John Yudichak. “The department does an exceptional job of meeting the demands of regulation and enforcement, but the increased allocation provided under Senate Bill 649 will go a long way to ensuring DEP is adequately staffed to meet future demands of these two important environmental programs and overall program operating costs.”

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