The Claims and Payment Section of the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Branch administers the Petroleum Storage Tank Environmental Assurance Fund (PSTEAF), the Small Owners Tank Removal Account (SOTRA), payment for third-party claims, financial audits, eligible company and partnership certification, laboratory certification, and facility ranking.
On Dec. 22, 1988, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that required owners or operators of underground storage tanks (USTs) to demonstrate their capability to pay for remediation costs and third-party damages in the event of a release into the environment. Rules governing the requirements are contained in 40 CFR Subpart H. In response, the 1990 Kentucky General Assembly created the Petroleum Storage Tank Environmental Assurance Fund (PSTEAF) to assist owners and operators of USTs in meeting the federal financial responsibility requirement and to provide reimbursement of eligible costs of corrective action due to a release from a UST system.
All reimbursement for UST-related activities comes from the PSTEAF. Monies for the PSTEAF come from an assurance fee of $0.014 assessed on each gallon of gasoline and special fuels imported to Kentucky.
Owners and operators can seek reimbursement for costs associated with removal and/or remediation in the event of a release. Reimbursement for removal costs comes from the Small Owner Tank Removal Account (SOTRA). Reimbursement for remediation costs comes from the Financial Responsibility Account (FRA) and the Petroleum Storage Tank Account (PSTA).
Reimbursements from the FRA and PSTA are determined by a ranking system. A weekly agenda is processed every Thursday that lists the claim payments approved/denied for payment. UST owners and operators must have all required work performed by PSTEAF eligible companies or partnerships and certified laboratories to be eligible for reimbursement from the PSTEAF.