STATEHOUSE—Legislation sponsored by Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Winona Lake) concerning liability for underground storage tanks passed the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously today.
Senate Bill (SB) 168 would allow the state to impose a lien on the property of an owner or operator of an underground storage tank if they fail to register or pay certain fees on the tank. The Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) would then be responsible for providing notice and written documentation of the lien – not required in current law.
This legislation would protect bona fide purchasers of the properties with underground storage tanks from being liable for outstanding expenses. SB 168 would also provide them with the opportunity to receive funds from the Excess Liability Trust Fund to bring non-compliant tanks up to code.
“This legislation would provide both current property owners and interested buyers with better disclosure of financial information before entering into an arrangement,” said Rep. Wolkins. “This added protection could also boost the interest in and sales of abandoned properties with underground storage tanks in our state.”
SB 168 was not altered or changed during House discussion. Therefore, it will head to the governor’s office for his signature. If signed into law, SB 168 will go into effect on July 1, 2012.