The Board and the Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund (Fund) were established by the 1989 Montana Legislature to: provide adequate financial resources and effective procedures through which tank owners and operators may undertake, and be reimbursed for, cleanup of petroleum contamination and payment to third parties for damages caused by releases from petroleum storage tanks; to assist tank owners and operators in meeting financial assurance requirements under state and federal law governing operation of petroleum storage tanks; to assist in protecting public health and safety and the environment by providing assistance for cleanup of petroleum tank releases; and to provide tank owners with incentives to improve petroleum storage tank facilities in order to minimize the likelihood of accidental releases. The primary intent was to establish a structure that would provide adequate remedies for the protection of the environmental life support system from degradation and provide adequate remedies to prevent unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources. The Board administers the Fund in accordance with the provisions of the law, including the payment of reimbursement to owners and operators.
To meet the intent and purpose established by the legislature, the Board has directed its efforts towards fiscally responsible management of the cleanup fund. As part of fund administration, the Board intends to:
- Ensure that funding is available to obligate to all releases ranked in the highest priority by the Waste Management and Remediation Division of the Department of Environmental Quality. These releases usually consist of those about which little is known, because they have not been investigated, or are known to have an environmental concern.
- Reimburse completed claims for obligated corrective action within usual customary business time frames.