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WHEREAS the Underground Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation (PST) Program, which ends October 31, 2005, was underfunded to remediate all sites included within the program criteria;AND WHEREAS the PST program criteria did not cover out-of-service retail facility sites;AND WHEREAS the remediation of out-of-service retail facility sites creates a financial hardship for many persons liable for the remediation of these out-of-service retail facility sites;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government to reinstate the Underground Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation Program with broader criteria to include out-of-service retail facility sites and that the program be adequately funded to cover all eligible sites under this new criteria.
The Underground Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation (PST) Program was initiated in the fall of 2000 and is scheduled to end on October 31, 2005. The program provided funding to municipalities, owners of single fuel retail facilities and small retailers of multiple site fuel retail facilities.Unfortunately, the program did not cover out-of-service retail facilities. Costs to remediate these facilities is also very costly and in many cases would create a financial hardship for the person responsible for the remediation. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act deems the person responsible for contamination to be the owner or previous owner of the contaminating substance and every person who has had charge and management or control of the substance. This then includes the current owner and the contaminator even if the contaminator complied with any regulations at the time of the contamination. In these situations, the County believes that these sites should be remediated but that the province should be responsible for this remediation.There are still many sites throughout the province that meet the criteria of the PST program that are not yet remediated and many more out-of-service facilities that did not meet program eligibility criteria. We feel that the PST program should be reinstated with expanded eligibility criteria to include out-of-service facilities and that the program be adequately funded to ensure that all sites in the province are remediated.
The AAMDC has two resolutions currently in effect that are similar to the resolution above.Resolution 15-04F, endorsed at the fall 2004 convention, urges the provincial government 1) to review the applicable legislation with a view to distinguishing between current owners of service stations and former owners with respect to liability for contamination, and 2) to reinstate an adequately funded grant program to facilitate the remediation of contaminated petroleum tank sites.Resolution ER2-01S, endorsed at the spring 2001 convention, urges the provincial government to increase funding in the Underground Petroleum Storage Tank Site Environmental Remediation Program to include funding for the remediation of out-of-service retail facility sites, and sites used for municipal purposes.
On August 25, 2005, Municipal Affairs announced funding of $50 million for a new Tank Site Remediation Program. The program will assist eligible municipalities and owners of small operation with five or fewer retail gas stations with the clean up of contamination resulting from leaking underground petroleum tanks. It is estimated that there will be about 600 inactive small retail sites remaining that may require mediation. The $50 million funding represents an estimation of industry capacity, and further program funding will be requested in the future as additional sites are identified.