About the UST Review Board
The RIUST Review Board, directed by a Board comprised of 10 members, is responsible for overseeing the administration and implementation of the fund; reviewing submissions and claims received from eligible parities; and approving, modifying or denying claims to eligible parties. Additionally, the Board helps to insure that environmental and public health impacts of the underground storage tank (UST) leaks are addressed in an effective and timely manner.
Owners/operators of certain USTs are required to demonstrate "Financial Responsibility" to clean up any potential release from their USTs, as regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and adopted by the State of Rhode Island. RIUST Review Board provides a cost effective mechanism for these owners/operators to meet these requirements. Claims for reimbursement are made to the RIUST Review Board after costs have been incurred in the process of remediating a release from an eligible UST.
Funding for these clean-ups is derived from a .005 cents per gallon surcharge on motor fuel to owners/operators of underground storage tanks and application fees. These monies are collected, managed and dispersed by RIUST Review Board. Disbursement of monies is generally conducted on a quarterly basis after a thorough review of the eligibility of each release and of the specific costs contained in each application. Reimbursement of 100% of the eligible costs is made (after demonstrating expenditure of the $20,000.00 deductible) based on regulations adopted by the State of Rhode Island and availability of funds.
RIUST Review Board made its first payment in 1997 and has since reimbursed over $50 million directly to the clean-up of Rhode island's environment.
There are 705,000 underground storage tank systems nationwide, with 1,736 of them in Rhode Island. The environmental threat posed by these tanks to poison groundwater through the release of hazardous materials, most commonly petroleum, is a serious one. While this is a national concern, it hits very close to Rhode Islanders, as the state's hallmark is its waterways.
In 1996 Rhode Island became one of 31 states in the country approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate its own underground storage tank management and clean-up program, and has currently completed 864 cleanups. While Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management supervises the clean-up process and insures each project meets the state's requirements, it is the Rhode Island Underground Storage Tank Financial Responsibility Fund Review Board (RIUST Review Board), a quasi-state organization, that oversees the state's fund that subsidizes the costs for cleanups. The mission of the RIUST Review Board is to make conscientious and well-informed fiscal decisions that calculate into maximizing immediate benefits and insuring long-term viability.
The RIUST Review Board understands that central to the success of the cleanup process – and the important environmental benefits that result – is the sustained availability of a funding source. RIUST Review Board is committed to insuring that such monies are at hand to contribute to the protection of Rhode Island's rivers, streams and oceans