A state commission wants Michigan to increase the state per-gallon tax
on fuel by at least 1.1 cents a gallon. That would bring in $77 million for
cleaning up leaks from underground fuel storage tanks.
An estimated 7,000 underground storage tank sites contaminate the
ground and water sources throughout the state, despite a nearly 20-year-old
federal mandate to clean them up, the Lansing State Journal reported.
The state’s goal is 600 cleanups a year, but a lack of funds limited
Michigan to 265 during the past year.
The Refined Petroleum Cleanup Advisory Council, created by state
lawmakers, recommended increasing the cleanup tax from its current 0.875 cents
per gallon to at least 2 cents on the wholesale price of motor fuels and other
The advisory council wants at least $120 million a year for cleanup
If the Legislature approves the higher fee, the increase would raise
the amount of money for cleanups from about $60 million a year to about $137
million, Department of Environmental Quality funding specialist Sharon Goble
told the Journal.
After securing money for the cleanups, measures must be put in place to
prevent lawmakers from dipping into it for other uses, said advisory council
Chairman Kenneth Vermeulen.