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Leaking storage tanks

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"From a state standpoint; let's say if an older couple owns a gas station, we do a cost evaluation on the funding they have and make a determination that they either are or aren't a viable party," Eagles said. "If we make that determination, we can use state money to do it. But in large part, there's a large number of (still active) sites because we can only work on a certain number, and there are 200 to 300 new releases each year."

In total, the number of underground storage tanks in the state Ė about 18,777 Ė far exceeds the number of leaking underground storage tanks, which total a little less than half, at 7,202. Of the more than 18,000 tanks in existence, the DEQ estimates about 95 percent are in use, while 5 percent are temporarily out-of-service. About 62 percent of the tanks are considered "low risk," based on the age and type of construction. The remaining are likely to need replacement in the next five to 10 years, according to the DEQ.

DEQ records indicate about 9,200 releases have occurred at the state's 7,200 sites, meaning it's not uncommon for one tank, once it becomes faulty, to have more than one release before it is replaced.

To help gas station owners address the problem of leaking underground storage tanks, the Michigan legislature, in 1988, created the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Financial Assurance Fund (MSUTFA), which was funded by a gas fee at the pump. The program was stopped in 1995 when the fund ran out of money. Since then, the number of LUST site cleanups have dropped by about 80 percent. Despite the discontinuation of the program, the 7/8-cent per gallon fee on all refined petroleum products sold or imported into Michigan was reauthorized in 2004, and the fund was renamed the Refined Petroleum Fund. While the fee collects about $50 million per year, about $850 million from the fund has been used to fund operations other than LUST sites.

"It has been used for various things," Eagles said. "The Department of Agriculture has used it to pay for programs. It's also been used for bond debt. It generates about $50 million (annually). Right now they are working on trying to get some of that money available to clean up sites. There is some talk and serious moves to get about $20 million a year set aside for owners and operators (of contaminated sites) to tie into it and use it to clean up releases."

In 2010, the state legislature began an effort to address what has been viewed as an unacceptably low rate of LUST site closures in the state. Lawmakers introduced a package of bills which were subsequently passed and enacted. A number of changes went into effect in 2012, including how sites are addressed and the type of action and information needed to close a LUST case within the DEQ, as well as efforts to restore funding to LUST closure actions.

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Birmingham/Bloomfield LUST sites

The following is a list of active LUST sites in the Birmingham and Bloomfield area, including the site name, address, type of release (if known) and date of release.

Shell Station

34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, (used oil) 12/8/2008

Amoco Station

14 Mile, 880 W. 14 Mile, Birmingham, unknown

Woodlinc/Mich Ltd Partnership

1050 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 12/20/1996

Tiffany Florist

772-784 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 7/21/2008

Birmingham Public Schools

550 W. Merrill, Birmingham, 8/8/1990

Quarton Elementary

771 Chesterfield Ave, Birmingham, 6/29/1990

Derby Middle School

1100 Derby, Birmingham, 9/9/1988

Parking Lot (Dietz Corp)

985 E Maple Road, Birmingham, 10/14/1997

Former Gasoline Station

33801 Woodward, Birmingham, unknown

Jax Kar Wash #048

34745 Woodward, Birmingham, 10/27/2000

Douglas Cleaners

1794 W Maple Road, Birmingham, 1/17/1992


101 E 14 Mile Road, Birmingham, (gas) 6/13/05 (used oil) 11/10/2005

Amoco #579

35975 Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 1/13/1989

Amoco Station #5696

2483 W Maple, Bloomfield Township, 5/26/1992

Budget Rent A Car

1000 E Maple, Birmingham, 6/1/1990

Budget Rent-a-car

1000 E Maple, Birmingham, 5/11,1990

Mobil SS #03-K9Q

1065 W Maple, Birmingham, (gas) 6/15/2004

Quarton Woodward Service

1599 S. Woodward, Birmingham, (gas) 5/19/1997

Northpointe Office Bldg.

2525 Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 10/1/1987


3690 Maple Bloomfield Township, 6/12/1989; 7/12/1995/; 3/1/2000; 5/10/2000

Sunoco #0008-4079

42994 Woodward, Bloomfield Township, 8/16/1988

Academy Of The Sacred Heart

1250 Kensington, Bloomfield Township, 6/26/1995

Bloomfield Hills Country Club

350 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 1/1/1985

Former Sunoco Station

2385 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 10/1/1987

Amoco SS #14209

2481 Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, (gas) 5/12/2004

Amoco Station #5643

6495 Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 1/6/1992

Amoco Station #5643

6495 Telegraph Bloomfield Township, 3/20/2002

Amoco #5451

4009 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 8/3/1989

Cranbrook Educational Community

1000 Vaughan, Bloomfield Hills, 8/24/1990

Shell Station

39580 N Woodward, Bloomfield Hills, 12/19/1994; 8/29/1994; 12/2/2003

Elliot Cohen Property

1185 Eton Cross Road, Bloomfield Hills, 3/2/1995

Woodward Ave & Square Lake Road

2510 N. Woodward, Bloomfield Township, 4/12/2000

Source: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality


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