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Old underground fuel storage tanks being removed

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New state money taking care of old mess

By John Hummer – Exponent staff writer

More old pollution is leaving the area.

Work is taking place at the corner of U.S. 12 and M-50 to remove old underground storage tanks (UST) that once contained gasoline or diesel.

“They’re taking the old tanks out of the ground and digging out all that soil,” said Rick Richardson, Cambridge Township clerk. “I’m assuming they’re going to have to replace it with something else.”

Richardson said the state is using the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority (MUSTA) and its associated Cleanup Fund to conduct the work. The fund helps storage tank owners and operators remove old USTs and provides financial assistance to remediate contamination caused by releases from the USTs.

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These two tanks have been removed from an old gas station formerly located at the southeast corner of M-50 and U.S. 12 (across from the weigh station).

“Apparently they got money back in there again,” Richardson said of the fund. “They called us last year and said they’re going to be going in there to finish up that cleanup.” He said the cleanup started years ago, but was not finished because funding had dried up at the time.

Richardson wasn’t sure if there are plans to do anything with the building still on the property. The property is owned by Brooklyn-US-12, LLC, whose official address is 202 S. Michigan Ave. in Howell, Mich.

In late 2015, the Michigan House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 791, signed by the governor shortly thereafter, addressing the funding of cleanups for leaking underground storage tanks.

The legislation saves fuel retailers money previously spent on UST insurance to comply with federal UST financial requirements. The new money helps clean up sites that have been dormant, and will develop land that has been “mothballed” because buyers and sellers couldn’t agree on a cleanup approach.

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