UST Review Process
The reimbursement process is structured in three steps:
- Compliance Determination
- Eligibility and Request for Reimbursement Application
- Supplemental and Resubmittal Applications
1. Compliance Determination
Upon the discovery of a release from a UST, the owner/operator of the UST may submit to the Board a Compliance Application. This one-page application provides the Board with the necessary information to work with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to determine whether the UST or UST system had been operated in compliance with the UST regulations. A fee of $150.00 is required with submission of a Compliance Application. The review includes examination of at least three years of compliance data prior to the release. As a result of the submission UST owners may be required to resolve any non-comliance issue through DEM enforcement processes, including correction of any deficiencies, entering legal agreements, and/or paying fines. In order to continue the reimbursement process the Board must receive from the DEM a letter stating that the USTs were in compliance at the time of the release or that the site has subsequently resolved all compliance issues with DEM.
2. Eligibility and Request for Reimbursement Application
After UST compliance has been established, an owner/operator may submit a Request for Reimbursement Application. These applications are accepted based on a quarterly schedule of deadlines, which must be met in order to be placed on the agenda for the next disbursement Board meeting. A Request for Reimbursement must include at least $20,000.00 of costs related to the investigation and/or remediation of the release. Review of these applications addresses whether the release is eligible under the Rhode Island UST Financial Responsibility Act and the U.S. EPA Financial Responsibility regulations. Results of the review of the Request for Reimbursement application also includes the determination of the eligible and ineligible expenses. Additionally, the review may determine that additional informational backup is necessary for certain invoices in order to determine their eligibility. These latter costs are referred to as “No Backup” costs. The Board must vote on these results in order for the owner/operator to receive the eligible amount.
3. Supplemental and Resubmittal Applications
Supplemental Applications are made following any initial reimbursement for the release. These applications must include at least $5,000.00 in costs related to the investigation and/or remediation of the release. The Suplemental Application may also include the resubmittal of “No Backup costs with additional information which would support the review of the costs for eligibility. “No Backup” costs may be resubmitted only once and must be submitted for prior to the deadline immediately following the “No Backup” determination, regardless of the amount of supplemental costs. Resubmittal costs do not count toward the $5,000.00 minimum for supplemental applications. The review process results in a determination of the eligible, ineligible, and “No Backup” portions of the submittal and are presented to the Board on the quarterly schedule to finalize approval for reimbursement. Supplemental applications of $5,000.00 or more may be submitted prior to each of the established deadlines until closure of the release is obtained through DEM.