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October 6, 2011   Update on Financial Health of Indiana's UST Excess Liability Trust Fund
By Christopher J. Braun
PDF of Update on Financial Health of Indiana's UST Excess Liability Trust Fund (721k PDF file)

Indiana’s Underground Storage Tank Excess Liability Trust Fund (“ELTF”) provides critical funding for environmental investigation and remediation costs and third party claims for eligible UST owners as well as fulfilling their federally required financial assurance requirements.  The following are some details of the financial health of the ELTF as of the close of the most recent fiscal year, June 30, 2011.

1.  The ELTF’s gross balance was $64,011,599, the highest balance in more than a decade (the low was $9,714,291 in 2006, which led to our securing legislative changes to increase ELTF funding). 

2.  The ELTF’s net balance, after subtracting the amount of expenses approved by not yet paid is $42,914,528.  The ELTF has to have a balance of $25,000,000 to stay out of a “priority payment” mode.

3.  During this past fiscal year, the ELTF received claims totaling $58,665,078 (down from the high of $69 million in 2005), and reimbursed $35,982,245, for an overall reimbursement rate of 59% for all claims submitted that year (down from a high of 65% in 2005).

Some additional important facts:

 1.  In light of the economy/recession and fewer miles being driven, the annual revenue for the ELTF has declined from $57 million in 2008 to $47 million for this past fiscal year (all but roughly $600,000 of the revenue is from the one penny per gallon of gasoline and diesel sold in Indiana). 

2.  IDEM’s share of the ELTF revenue increased from 10% to 11% as of July 1, 2011.

3.  The amount of claims ($58 million) still exceeds annual revenue ($47 million).

4.  The ELTF fund balance is based on a 59% approval rate for ELTF claims.  As UST owners/operators/consultants get familiar with the new ELTF/UST regulations that became effective March 26, 2011, the percentage of claims approved should be increasing.

 5.  We are working with the ELTF and Department of Revenue personnel to reduce the delays in claim review and payment from its current 90-120 day period to a 75-90 period.

 6.  There are currently 2,200 active LUST incidents at IDEM, with an average of 180 new LUST incidents reported each year.  

7.  80 sites have exceeded $1,000,000 in remediation costs and 9 sites have exceeded the $2,000,000 cap in remediation costs.

Reports with these details and many more can be found on the attached file.  If you have any questions regarding these facts or the ELTF in general, please contact Christopher J. Braun.

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