NC legislative report suggests tank cleanup change

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 1:22 PM

A legislative report says North Carolina's program to clean leaking gasoline and oil from commercial underground storage tanks won't finish for another 25 years at the current rate.

The Legislature's Program Evaluation Division examined the tank program and made recommendations Monday to lawmakers.

The program began in 1985 in response to a federal mandate and concerns that petroleum was entering groundwater from old gas stations. The state created a trust fund to pay for much of the cleanup.

The division says 10,700 commercial tank leaks have been cleaned but 6,500 remain.

The report recommends raising a fuel tax slightly and requiring tank owners to get private insurance coverage to generate more funds to reduce the backlog.