Indiana ELTF Updates: Follow-up to SEA 255 Changes
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Indiana Senate Bill 255 officially went into effect on July 1, 2016. Indiana’s UST rule (329 IAC 1) and the Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELTF) rule (328 IAC 9) are currently being revised to reflect the changes to the statute instituted by passage of the bill. The First Notice for public comment on the ELTF rule is currently open, and the Second Notice is planned for late September.
As a follow-up to a previous article, some of the changes within the bill that should make fund eligibility more attainable include:
- Reduction in the deductible amount to $15,000
- Extension of reporting requirement for a confirmed release to 30 days
- Ability to “back-pay” tank fees to achieve eligibility (even for existing releases)
- Eligibility of releases from unregistered tanks that contain a regulated substance
- Increase in the fund’s cap for payment toward an eligible release to $2,500,000
Eligible releases will now be based solely on:
- Timeliness of release reporting,
- Tank registration,
- Source of the release [must be from a tank or dispenser component (before the nozzle/hose)], and
- Submission of an initial site characterization report to the IDEM.
It should be noted also that while back tank fees can be paid, fees and penalties will apply, and for now, compliance of the UST system appears to be disregarded from eligibility. There remain many questions regarding IDEM’s implementation of these changes and adaptation of the rule to the multitude of real-life situations regarding multiple/commingling releases, multiple systems, historical tank fees, etc. In general, it appears to be good news for tank owners as a higher percentage of new releases may be eligible for ELTF funding.