"The Board of Storage Tank Assistance has a proven value, and it is in the best interest of UST owner/operators, the State and the general public to extend the board's sunset date for four years."
- Rep. Samuels
"An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; and providing for an effective date."
Under AS 46.03.010(18), the Board of Storage Tank Assistance will sunset on June 30, 2003 unless the Legislature acts to extend the board. House Bill 187 would extend the board to June 30, 2007.
The board (BSTA) was created in 1990 to help the owners and operators of underground storage tanks (UST's) comply with state and federal regulations enacted in response to nationwide concern over possible contamination of drinking water from leaking tanks. These new regulations covered areas including the design, construction and installation of new tanks, and tightened standards for the retrofitting of existing tanks.
Board members have extensive UST knowledge and experience, allowing the board to act as a valuable liaison between the Department of Environmental Conservation and UST owner/operators. BSTA helped the DEC draft reasonable regulations and has helped owner/operators interpret and comply with regulations, saving the State the cost of seizing and cleaning up contaminated sites caused by non-compliance.
The DEC provides financial assistance to UST owner/operators, previously through grant programs, and now through a revolving loan fund, the Storage Tank Assistance Loan Fund. BSTA has been instrumental in mediating disputes between DEC and UST owner/operators over financial assistance determinations and allowable costs, helping avoid the need for formal appeals in some cases.
The Board of Storage Tank Assistance has a proven value, and it is in the best interest of UST owner/operators, the State and the general public to extend the board's sunset date for four years.