MI Senate moves to reform regulations that impair the cleanup of leaking underground tanks

LANSING, Mich.—The state Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would more effectively clean up leaking underground storage tank sites throughout the state by reforming the regulatory process to enable more effective partnerships with the private sector.

“Michigan lags far behind other states in site cleanups, and for a state that upholds, promotes, and enjoys the use of its natural resources as much as ours does, that’s simply unacceptable,” said Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, chair of the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee. “By using rigorous, yet reasonable standards and risk-based processes we will help create certainty in the cleanup process to make sure the cleanups actually happen. This will promote economic redevelopment in our communities.”

Senate Bill 528, sponsored by Casperson, and the other five bills in the package, Senate Bills 529-533, revise procedures for the cleanup of contamination caused by leaking underground storage tanks.
The bills provide much-needed comprehensive reform with common-sense approaches to address cleanups using site-specific and risk-based measures. This approach allows for limited resources to be better spent on contaminated sites that need more attention rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach when there may be little risk to public health and the natural resources. In these cases, some monitoring and naturally occurring processes can be the most cost-effective and reasonable approach to dealing with the contamination.
“By enacting such comprehensive reforms, we will ensure that dollars spent today in cleaning up these sites will save money in future cleanup as contaminants continue to spread over time,” said Casperson. “Cleaning these sites efficiently and effectively is not only good for Michigan’s natural resources but for the economy as well.”

SBs 528-33 now go to the state House for approval.