Newsletter: Expertise Available for Removal of Underground Storage Tanks

With increased costs, environmental risks and regulations associated with ownership of petroleum Underground Storage Tanks (USTs), many are choosing to remove privately owned USTs and are fueling up their vehicle fleet at retail gas stations. However, navigating local, state and federal petroleum regulations required to remove USTs can be an inundating task for Michigan’s top municipal, commercial or industrial leaders.

A qualified environmental consultant can help ease the burden. One West Michigan-based company has been relying on their consultant for years.

“We have always been committed to being a good corporate citizen,” said Bruce Blair, president and chief executive officer of Consumers Concrete. “It has not waivered, but the challenge to keep up with the changing laws and regulations continues to require special expertise.

“We work with a consultant to keep us compliant in areas that we know little about. And with the ongoing changes in the regulation landscape, this continues to be more and more of a challenge.”

Consumers Concrete, the region’s premiere ready mix and concrete product manufacturer with over 20 locations in West Michigan, successfully removed a UST in the fall of 2019. It hired Fleis and VandenBrink (F&V) to manage the notification, sampling, and reporting requirements associated with removing the UST. F&V worked closely with the excavator, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), and onsite personnel to safely and properly get the job done.

“We were very satisfied with the support F&V provided us every step along the way,” Blair said. “From the first on site meeting with the contractor to discuss removing the tank, F&V helped us develop a plan that morning and followed up with a written plan that clearly detailed the process and expectations of the different teams. As we worked on the plan, F&V communicated each step along the way so that we were all on the same page at all times.”

Funding Options for Leaking UST Clean-up
The UST removal and environmental sampling performed at Consumers Concrete resulted in a “clean closure” and no additional sampling or reporting was required. This was great news for Consumers Concrete and the environment. However, many UST owners are not as fortunate and are caught off-guard when they learn that their USTs have been leaking petroleum into the environment.

When a UST leaks, regulatory requirements can be confusing and clean up can be expensive. Fortunately, EGLE created an authority to reimburse owners/operators with eligible corrective action costs associated with confirmed releases from petroleum USTs.

The Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority (MUSTA) was established in 2014 to evaluate, manage and oversee the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund, and to serve the financial interests and requirements of petroleum UST owners and operators in the State of Michigan. The MUSTA fund utilizes several private insurance concepts, including claim limits and deductibles. There is no annual premium to use MUSTA. In the event of a UST leak, the fund can significantly offset associated clean-up costs. However, it is recommended that UST owners be proactive and understand the requirements of MUSTA prior to discovering a release.

F&V is a Michigan qualified consultant specializing in UST removals, investigations and management. We have achieved closure on numerous sites with leaking USTs and our staff has expertise in utilizing the MUSTA fund for the benefit of our clients.

“I was very impressed with the quick follow-up provided by F&V staff, whether it was responding to a question, completing a report, or filing the necessary documents,” Blair noted. “It was always quick, accurate and with no issues. It was like taking a flight when everything goes as planned. It was uneventful, which is exactly what you want!”

If you would like more information on our services, contact F&V’s Eric Walters today at 1.800.494.5202 or He can help you in navigating the requirements governing USTs, leaking USTs and available state reimbursement funds.