SB 445 also created a new Subaccount (“Site Cleanup Account”) to provide grants for cleanup of non-petroleum contaminant (non-UST) sites. The State Water Board pushed for this new Subaccount. It is designed to clean up sites with any chemical (e.g., solvents, nitrates, etc.) that threatens human health, groundwater or surface waters and would not likely be cleaned up otherwise. The estimated initial funding level for these non-UST cleanups is $20 million per year, funded by 6/10 cent per gallon from the increased storage fees of 2 cents per gallon. Funding of $20 million per year for ten years equates to Subaccount funding of $200 million.
For issuing grant or other funds to applicants, the State Water Board must consider:
- The degree to which human health, safety, and the environment are threatened
- Whether the location is in a small or financially disadvantaged community
- Cost and potential environmental benefit of the investigation or cleanup
- Whether there are other potential sources of funding for the investigation or cleanup
- Any other information the board identifies as necessary for consideration.
CORE is working with the Fund and stakeholders to develop a program responsive to qualification criteria established by SB 445 for claimants/applicants to access funds. CORE can keep you informed of program development and grant submittal deadlines.