Underground Petroleum Tanks:

Owners' Ability to Comply With EPA's Financial Responsibility Requirements

RCED-90-167FS: Published: Jul 9, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 8, 1990.

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GAO reviewed information from telephone surveys of state officials and insurance companies, regarding the ability of small firms owning petroleum tanks to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) financial responsibility requirements by the 1991 deadlines.

GAO found that: (1) according to EPA, hundreds of thousands of underground petroleum tanks have corroded and are leaking; (2) EPA regulations require that tank owners have $1 million or $2 million worth of insurance or some other approved form of liability coverage; (3) EPA regulations divide tank owners into four categories, based on the number of tanks they own; (4) EPA must approve trust funds before tank owners can use them to satisfy federal financial responsibility regulations; and (5) EPA would have to lower its insurance limits below $500,000 in order to reduce insurance premiums.

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