Diversion of Storage Tank Cleanup Funds
Key Development: The Senate-passed transportation bill would divert $669 million from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund over the next 10 years to help fund transportation projects.
What's Next: House and Senate conferees will consider the provision as part of their ongoing negotiations on the surface transportation reauthorization bill.
Proposed language in the Senate-passed transportation bill would result in $669 million being diverted from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund over the next 10 years to help fund transportation projects, according to a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The May 25 report examined the financial impacts from the House and Senate versions of the transportation bill, which a conference committee is trying to combine into a final version.
The Senate bill would take one-third of the future revenue from the storage tank fund, which is financed by a 0.1-cent tax on each gallon of gasoline sold in the United States, and direct that money to the Highway Trust Fund. The joint committee estimated that would divert $669 million from the LUST fund over a decade.
That is in addition to a proposed $3 billion transfer from the LUST fund, which would occur immediately upon the bill's adoption and nearly deplete the current fund. The House version of the bill does not contain any language relating to the LUST fund.
According to the report, the Senate bill would divert $16 million from the LUST fund in 2012 and $337 million in total between 2012 and 2017.
Created in 1986 and currently estimated to contain $3.6 billion, the LUST fund allows the Environmental Protection Agency to oversee and enforce storage tank cleanups, conduct inspection of sites, and pay for site cleanups when the owner is unavailable or unknown.
Sherri Stone, vice president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, told BNA May 29 the group is vehemently opposed to what it considers “robbing the trust fund.”
Stone said the group had reached out to members of Congress and found that many did not fully understand the provisions. The group has several supporters of its efforts “lined up” to block the diversion, but Stone said she had not heard of any official discussions between conferees about the LUST fund provisions.
PMAA has lobbied Congress to release additional funds from the trust fund for years. If releasing additional funds “is not going to happen, you must be overtaxing us or call it what it is--an additional highway tax,” Stone said. “But don't play games with these funds.”
The Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, another outspoken critic of the proposed transfer in the Senate bill, was unavailable for comment.
Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonprofit group whose goal is to reduce government waste, said the proposal remains one of the most financially sound in the transportation package.
“As long as we remain at reasonable funding levels to support federal cleanup programs, we're not opposed to the transfer,” Erich Zimmermann, transportation policy adviser with the group, told BNA.
The report from the Joint Committee on Taxation is available at http://op.bna.com/env.nsf/r?Open=aada-8urqej.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)