Public Act 92-0554 Fact Sheet

What is this new law?

The new law, entitled Public Act 92-0554, amends sections of the Environmental Protection Act (Act) governing the remediation of releases from petroleum underground storage tank (UST) systems. The new law was signed into law on June 24, 2002.

How does this new law affect the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program?

For releases required to be reported to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) on or after June 24, 2002, the owner or operator of the UST system is required to conduct tank removal, abandonment and repair, site investigation, and corrective action in accordance with the new law. Sites cannot be evaluated using Method One or Method Two for Physical Soil Classification or Classification by Exposure Pathway Exclusion, and sites cannot be classified as No Further Action, Low Priority, or High Priority. Instead, site investigation followed by corrective action, if required, must be performed for purposes of receiving a No Further Remediation Letter.

Do “early action” provisions still apply?

Yes, the “early action” reporting and response requirements of 35 Illinois Administrative Code (35 Ill. Adm. Code) Part 732 apply. Releases from UST systems must be reported to IEMA; immediate action to prevent further release must be taken; fire, explosion, and vapor hazards must be identified and mitigated; 20-day and 45-day activities must be performed, followed by submittal of the required reports; and, if applicable, free product removal must be conducted, followed by submittal of the required reports.

What does the site investigation involve?

Site investigation involves, at a minimum, the determination of the nature, concentration, direction of movement, rate of movement, and extent of contamination, as well as the significant physical features of the site and surrounding area that may affect contaminant transport and risk to human health and safety and the environment.

For any site investigation activities, the owner or operator must submit a site investigation plan to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) for approval. If the owner or operator intends to seek reimbursement of costs from the Underground Storage Tank Fund (Fund), a site investigation budget should also be submitted.

In many ways, the required site investigation activities parallel those of the Illinois EPA’s Site Remediation Program.

What is required after completion of the site investigation?

Within 30 days after the site investigation is completed, the owner or operator must submit a site investigation completion report to the Illinois EPA for approval. The report must include, at a minimum, an executive summary, site history, site-specific sampling methods and results, documentation of all field activities including quality assurance, documentation regarding the development of proposed remediation objectives, interpretation of results, and conclusions.

If the site investigation confirms that levels of indicator contaminants do not exceed the TACO (Tiered Approach to Corrective Action Objectives) remediation objectives, within 30 days after completing the site investigation, the owner or operator must submit a corrective action completion report to the Illinois EPA for approval. The corrective action completion report form with licensed professional engineer certification should be submitted concurrently with the site investigation completion report..

If levels of any of the indicator contaminants exceed the TACO remediation objectives approved for the site, within 30 days after the Illinois EPA approves the site investigation completion report, the owner or operator must submit a corrective action plan to the Illinois EPA for approval.

What must the corrective action plan include?

The corrective action plan must include, at a minimum, an executive summary; statement of remediation objectives; remedial technologies selected; confirmation sampling plan; current and projected future use of the property; applicable preventive, engineering, and institutional controls including long-term reliability, operating and maintenance plans, and monitoring procedures; and a schedule for implementation and completion of the plan.

The corrective action plan must be designed to mitigate any threat to human health, human safety, or the environment resulting from the UST system release. It must describe the selected remedy and evaluate its ability and effectiveness to achieve the remediation objectives approved for the site. If the owner or operator plans to seek reimbursement of costs from the Fund, a corrective action budget should also be submitted.

What cleanup levels apply to leaking UST sites that are subject to the new law?

Cleanup levels (called remediation objectives) for indicator contaminants, which are based upon the material stored in the UST, must be determined using the TACO rules at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 742.

What is required to be submitted if the remediation objectives are met after the corrective action is completed?

Within 30 days after the corrective action is completed, the owner or operator must submit a corrective action completion report to the Illinois EPA for approval. The report must demonstrate whether corrective action was completed in accordance with the approved corrective action plan and whether compliance with the remediation objectives approved for the site, as well as any other requirements of the corrective action plan, has been achieved.

What must be done if the corrective action plan is not effective?

If, within four years after approval of the corrective action plan, compliance with the remediation objectives has not been met and the owner or operator has not submitted a corrective action completion report, the owner or operator must submit a status report to the Illinois EPA for review. The status report must include a description of the remediation activities taken to date, the effectiveness of the method of remediation being used, the likelihood of meeting the remediation objectives using the current method of remediation, and the date that compliance with the remediation objectives is expected to be achieved.

The Illinois EPA may require submittal of a status report in less than four years.

If the Illinois EPA determines the corrective action plan will not achieve compliance with the remediation objectives within a reasonable time, the Illinois EPA may require the owner or operator to submit a revised corrective action plan for approval. If the owner or operator plans to seek reimbursement of costs from the Fund, a revised budget should also be submitted.

What other changes made by Public Act 92-0554 should be noted?

The maximum aggregate amount allowed for reimbursement from the Fund to an owner or operator for costs of corrective action or indemnification incurred during a calendar year is $2,000,000 for fewer than 101 petroleum USTs and $3,000,000 for 101 or more petroleum USTs.

The maximum amount allowed for reimbursement from the Fund to an owner or operator for costs of corrective action is $1,500,000 per occurrence and for costs of indemnification is $1,500,000 per occurrence.

For UST system releases required to be reported to IEMA prior to June 24, 2002, owners or operators may elect to remediate the release under the new law (Public Act 92-0554) if a written election is submitted to the Illinois EPA. Owners or operators who do not make such election must continue to proceed in accordance with the law in effect at the time the release was reported.

Where can I get more information?

You may contact the project manager on call in the Leaking UST Section by dialing 217-524-3300.

This fact sheet is for general information only and is not intended to replace, interpret, or modify laws, rules, or regulations.