Shrom v. Pa. Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Bd.

The appellants sought review of an Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board order that denied their eligibility for payment of remedial costs from the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund. The appellants are husband and wife, and together they owned a property that contained a vacant gas station. The gas station had five underground storage tanks. Under the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, any property with operational underground storage tanks must pay tank capacity and per-gallon fees to the Department of Environmental Protection. The Act also requires property owners to pay a registration fee for their tanks. The appellants’ tanks were not operational when a gas leak was discovered that required more than $170,00 in remediation. The appellants were denied funds to remediate because their registration fee had lapsed. But the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court agreed with the appellants that the Act did not require the registration fee to be paid before discovering the leak. Since the appellants promptly paid their registration fee as soon as they were alerted to the lapse, the Court held there was no bar to receiving remediation funds.

Shrom