Underground Storage Tanks

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A statewide program, in conjunction with a national effort, is in effect to protect the public and the environment from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks.  All owners, including counties, of underground tanks for the storage of petroleum products are subject to the program specifications.  Among other requirements, owners must prevent leaks and protect their tanks from corrosion and they must notify the commissioner of environment and conservation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency of the existence of the tank.  A fund has been created to help pay for leak cleanups.  Owners must contribute fees to this fund, and the proceeds of an environmental assurance fee (four tenths cent per gallon of petroleum products imported into this state or manufactured in this state) are deposited into this fund.  T.C.A. § 68-215-101 et seq.  An owner/operator of a tank must pay all outstanding fees, interest and penalties in order to receive a certificate for the tank.  A certificate is necessary to lawfully receive petroleum products into the tank.  All applications for the payment of costs of cleanup must be received by the Division of Underground Storage Tanks within one (1) year of the performance of the tasks covered by that application in order to be eligible for reimbursement.  Any person who knowingly causes or allows a release of petroleum into the environment commits a Class E felony, punishable by fine only.  T.C.A. § 68-215-120.