RI UST Financial Responsibility Fund

UST Deadline Dates

Applications for claims must be submitted and received by the end of business day on the deadline date, posted below. RIDEM had 90 days following the quarterly deadline to approve, deny, or modify requests for reimbursement. If the Department determines that additional information or backup documentation is required, the claimant will not receive reimbursement for that quarterly submittal and must submit the required information or backup by the following quarterly deadline. 

Deadline dates are subject to change.

2024 Deadline Date: May 6, 2024

Disbursement #94 checks were mailed on April 9, 2024.

Owners/operators of certain USTs are required to demonstrate "Financial Responsibility" to clean up any potential release from their USTs, as regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and adopted by the State of Rhode Island. RIUST Review Board provides a cost effective mechanism for these owners/operators to meet these requirements. Claims for reimbursement are made to the RIUST Review Board after costs have been incurred in the process of remediating a release from an eligible UST.

Funding for these clean-ups is derived from a .5 cents per gallon surcharge on motor fuel to owners/operators of underground storage tanks and application fees. These monies are collected, managed and dispersed by RIUST Review Board. Disbursement of monies is generally conducted on a quarterly basis after a thorough review of the eligibility of each release and of the specific costs contained in each application. Reimbursement of 100% of the eligible costs is made (after demonstrating expenditure of the $20,000.00 deductible) based on regulations adopted by the State of Rhode Island and availability of funds.

Review Process Information

The reimbursement process is structured in three steps:

  1. Compliance Determination
  2. Eligibility and Request for Reimbursement Application
  3. Supplemental and Resubmittal Applications
  1. Compliance Determination

    Upon the discovery of a release from a UST, the owner/operator of the UST may submit to the Board a Compliance Application. This one-page application provides the Board with the necessary information to work with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to determine whether the UST or UST system had been operated in compliance with the UST regulations. A fee of $150.00 is required with submission of a Compliance Application. The review includes examination of at least three years of compliance data prior to the release. As a result of the submission UST owners may be required to resolve any non-comliance issue through DEM enforcement processes, including correction of any deficiencies, entering legal agreements, and/or paying fines. In order to continue the reimbursement process the Board must receive from the DEM a letter stating that the USTs were in compliance at the time of the release or that the site has subsequently resolved all compliance issues with DEM.

  2. Eligibility and Request for Reimbursement Application

    After UST compliance has been established, an owner/operator may submit a Request for Reimbursement Application. These applications are accepted based on a quarterly schedule of deadlines, which must be met in order to be placed on the agenda for the next disbursement Board meeting. A Request for Reimbursement must include at least $20,000.00 of costs related to the investigation and/or remediation of the release. Review of these applications addresses whether the release is eligible under the Rhode Island UST Financial Responsibility Act and the U.S. EPA Financial Responsibility regulations. Results of the review of the Request for Reimbursement application also includes the determination of the eligible and ineligible expenses. Additionally, the review may determine that additional informational backup is necessary for certain invoices in order to determine their eligibility. These latter costs are referred to as “No Backup” costs. The Board must vote on these results in order for the owner/operator to receive the eligible amount.

  3. Supplemental and Resubmittal Applications

    Supplemental Applications are made following any initial reimbursement for the release. These applications must include at least $5,000.00 in costs related to the investigation and/or remediation of the release. The Suplemental Application may also include the resubmittal of “No Backup costs with additional information which would support the review of the costs for eligibility. “No Backup” costs may be resubmitted only once and must be submitted for prior to the deadline immediately following the “No Backup” determination, regardless of the amount of supplemental costs. Resubmittal costs do not count toward the $5,000.00 minimum for supplemental applications. The review process results in a determination of the eligible, ineligible, and “No Backup” portions of the submittal and are presented to the Board on the quarterly schedule to finalize approval for reimbursement. Supplemental applications of $5,000.00 or more may be submitted prior to each of the established deadlines until closure of the release is obtained through DEM.

UST Statutes

These statutes are laws passed by the Rhode Island Government to cover the funding sources for the management of underground storage tanks in the State of Rhode Island. Statutes may be amended.

To learn more about the federal laws and statutes passed by the US Congress and the basis for Rhode Islands laws governing underground storage tanks visit the US Enviromental Protection Agency's website.

Rhode Island General Law 46-12.9 establishes the Rhode Island Underground Storage Tank Financial Responsibility Fund Review Board. Sections 46-12.9-2, 46-12.9-3, 46-12.9-5, 46-12.9-6, 46-12.9-7 and 46-12.9-8 of the General Laws in Chapter 46-12.9 entitled "Rhode Island Underground Storage Tank Financial Responsibility Act" are hereby amended to read listed.

UST Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) established by Congress in 1984, wrote and published regulations that require owners/operators of underground storage tanks to prevent, detect, and clean up releases. In 1996 Rhode Island became one of 31 states in the country approved by the EPA to manage its own underground storage tank management and clean-up program, and has currently completed 864 cleanups.

To learn more about the federal regulations and standards visit the US Environmental Agency website.

Frequently Asked Questions

The application process for private owners begins with a Compliance Application. This simple one page application and a $150 dollar application fee will start the process.

Private parties, the state, and cities and towns are potentially eligible for reimbursement costs that have been incurred as a result of a leaking underground storage tank.

To receive funds, one must be in compliance with the Department of Environmental Management's rules and regulations. A claimant must have incurred costs as a result of taking corrective actions, paying third-party claims, or otherwise incurring eligible costs as a result of a release of petroleum subject to the motor and special fuels tax. Additionally, the claimant must exhibit that they spent the $20,000 deductible on eligible costs and expenses.

The process can take up to six months for an initial reimbursement; however, once eligibility is determined and a disbursement is made, a supplemental claim can be submitted every quarter for ongoing costs.

Applications for claims are reviewed quarterly. RIDEM had 90 days to approve, deny, or modify a claim. Checks are typically mailed within 5 to 10 business days of application approval.

An owner/operator may receive up to one million dollars of eligible costs and expenses.