Michigan MUSTA Program at Work

By Jon Hirschenberger

State of Michigan reimbursement dollars are positively contributing to corrective actions conducted by liable parties for refined petroleum UST release sites

In 2017, private and municipal underground storage tank (UST) owners were afforded the ability to participate in a newly formed program to facilitate the compliance and closure of refined petroleum UST releases. The program is administered by the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority (MUSTA) and allows UST owners and operators to recover eligible costs associated with corrective actions conducted for UST releases as required under the State of Michigan’s Leaking Underground Storage Tank Part 213 Program. AKT Peerless’ depth of knowledge and expertise in this arena has allowed our clients to take full advantage of the benefits afforded by this program.

Most recently, AKT Peerless provided services to a municipal client who determined that USTs located at three of their properties (a city hall, department of public works, and a fire station) were obsolete and required removal to lower insurance premiums and potential liabilities associated with operating UST system(s).  As a result, AKT Peerless prepared a scope of work to remove the USTs. During removal activities, petroleum releases were discovered and confirmed releases were reported to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for all three sites. Consequently, on behalf of the municipality, AKT Peerless submitted the necessary documentation to MUSTA for claim approval. In less than two weeks, the municipality received documentation from MUSTA indicating they were approved for reimbursement of up to $1,000,000 (minus a $2,000 deductible) for eligible costs incurred to comply with Part 213 Regulations. During corrective actions, AKT Peerless facilitated reimbursable documentation to MUSTA for eligible costs on behalf of the municipality. Those requests included costs associated with removal of impacted soil and groundwater, site investigation activities, and Part 213 report preparation. The municipality received payment for those expenses within approximately three weeks of submittal.

AKT Peerless has also facilitated this process with a private retailer that owns and operates numerous gasoline filling stations throughout the Midwest. The client discovered releases while upgrading UST systems at two gasoline stations. Again, AKT Peerless prepared and submitted the necessary documentation for claim approval, which was confirmed in less than two weeks by MUSTA.

In both of these examples, AKT Peerless continues to serve our clients by maintaining their compliance with Part 213 Regulations while pursuing closure of the releases. AKT Peerless anticipates that closure of the referenced releases will be achieved within two years of the confirmed release dates and will include reimbursement of most costs incurred by the clients. These successful projects demonstrate how the new MUSTA Program is positively contributing to decreasing the volume of open releases in the State of Michigan. By providing owners and operators of USTs with a more attractive means to comply with regulations, the MUSTA Program’s benefits are serving to accelerate the cleanup and compliance process, and AKT Peerless can help you leverage these benefits too.

More information about the MUSTA Program can be found at:

http://www.michigan.gov/deqmusta

If you should have any questions about MUSTA as an owner or operator of a UST system, please contact me at 989-754-9896 or via email at jon@aktpeerless.com.

About the Author

Jon H.Jon Hirschenberger is Vice President of UST Services at AKT Peerless with more than 15 years of professional environmental consulting experience. He is a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG) with the American Institute of Professional Geologists. His areas of expertise include management of leaking underground storage tanks, remediation, and due diligence projects throughout the State of Michigan.

About AKT Peerless

We are environmental consultants and redevelopment experts who are proud to help build sustainable communities. Our services – environmental, sustainability, economic development incentives, and construction loan consulting – are tailored to the needs of each of our clients. We solve problems and deliver value to projects of any size, anywhere, and we empower our people to engage, at work and in our communities, to make a difference. We succeed because our clients and communities succeed. Call us at 800-985-7633 for help with practical solutions.

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