Fund Eligibility

When there is a release to the environment from an underground or aboveground petroleum storage tank, the Fund may provide reimbursement for cleanup for certain tank owners/operators. This eligibility is primarily dependent on the tank compliance history.

Categories of Eligibility

There are two main categories of eligibility to the Fund. These include Responsible parties and Non-responsible parties. The Responsible party is the tank owner/operator. Parties in this category will have a $10,000 deductible imposed on their reimbursements. The Non-responsible category includes property owners, orphaned or abandoned tank owners and lenders. No deductible is imposed on reimbursements for these Non-responsible parties.

Parties not eligible to the Fund include the following:

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  • Insurance companies
  • Federal facilities
  • Railroads
  • Airports
  • Neighboring property owners

Am I Eligible?

Choose the appropriate Responsible or Non-responsible party type below for details regarding how to establish eligibility and apply to the Fund.

Transferring Eligibility

Once established, Fund eligibility can be transferred to another party. A transfer usually occurs when a Responsible party wishes to sell the site before remediation is complete and transfer that eligibility to the buyer.

Any penalty reductions imposed on the original eligible party for regulatory non-compliance will transfer and apply to any subsequent buyers with respect to all remediation activities conducted through closure.

Eligibility established by Non-responsible parties can also be transferred to another party. However, eligibility established by a Non-responsible party cannot be transferred to any person who owned or operated tanks at the subject property at any time prior to the discovery of the contamination.

Request to Transfer Fund Eligibility

Establishing Eligibility

In order for a tank owner/operator to be eligible for reimbursement from the Fund, the tank owner/operator must:

  • Be a current or former tank owner/operator of the site where the release occurred
  • Request reimbursement for releases that were discovered on or after July 1, 1989, and for which expenses were incurred on or after July 1, 1989
  • Have registered the tank(s) and paid the current and past annual tank registration fees on a timely basis for each petroleum storage tank
  • Demonstrate that accurate and complete records are maintained for release detection and release prevention (when required by the Director)
  • Comply with criteria for reporting a release to OPS
  • Meet the owner/operator criteria for corrective action as established by the Director
  • Be in substantial compliance with Colorado Petroleum Storage Tank regulations as determined by the Petroleum Storage Tank Committee
  • Pay the environmental response surcharge that applies to petroleum products sold in Colorado and not be in default on any obligation caused by the environmental response surcharge
  • Demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility of $10,000 for corrective action and $25,000 for compensation of third parties, personal injuries and property damage
  • Demonstrate that deductible-allowable costs (release cleanup costs) of $10,000 and third-party liability costs of $25,000 per release occurrence for corrective action have been exceeded

Failure to meet these criteria may result in denial of eligibility or percentage reductions of any reimbursement award authorized by the Petroleum Storage Tank Committee.

Applying to the Fund

The documents listed below are required to support a request for eligibility as a tank owner.

  • Original Application
  • Release detection records and release prevention records (if OPS records are incomplete)

Establishing Eligibility

To establish Fund reimbursement eligibility as a tank owner, tank operator or property owner who bears no responsibility for the release when an orphaned or abandoned tank is involved, a tank owner/operator must provide proof that he or she:

  • Did not install petroleum storage tanks on the property
  • Never operated petroleum storage tanks on the property
  • Never leased petroleum storage tanks on the property to another person for operation
  • Had no reason to know that a release had occurred on the site when the site was acquired
  • Discovered the petroleum contamination after December 22, 1988
  • Owns a property on which contamination originated from the orphan or abandoned petroleum storage tank(s) on the site
  • Had no reason to know that the petroleum storage tank(s) existed on the site when the property was acquired

Applying to the Fund

The documents listed below are required to support a request for eligibility as an orphaned or abandoned tank owner.

  • Original Application
  • Affidavit: Orphan or Abandoned Tanks
  • Copy of the deed showing when the property was acquired
  • Copies of any leases whereby the property was leased to another person
  • A brief chronology describing the circumstances under which the property was acquired, whether a site assessment was performed prior to the acquisition of the property and how and when the abandoned tank(s) and the petroleum contamination were found

Establishing Eligibility

To establish Fund reimbursement eligibility as a Non-responsible property owner who bears no responsibility for the release, a property owner must provide proof that he or she:

  • Acquired the property no later than June 3, 1992
  • Did not install petroleum storage tanks on the property
  • Never operated petroleum storage tanks on the property
  • Never leased petroleum storage tanks on the property to another person for operation
  • Had no reason to know that a release had occurred on the site when it was acquired
  • Discovered the petroleum contamination after December 22, 1988
  • Can confirm that the contamination originated from petroleum storage tanks on the property

Applying to the Fund

The documents listed below are required to support a request for eligibility as a property owner.

  • Original Application
  • Affidavit: Current/Former Property Owner (signed before a notary public)
  • Affidavit: Property Owner (Inherited Property) (if the property was acquired by inheritance)
  • Copy of the deed showing when the property was acquired
  • Copies of any leases whereby the property was leased to another person
  • Evidence that tanks were present at one time (if tanks are no longer present on the property)
  • A brief chronology describing the circumstances under which the property was acquired, whether a site assessment was performed before the acquisition and how and when the contamination was discovered

Establishing Eligibility

A lender must first establish eligibility to the Fund by obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility. The purpose of the Certificate of Eligibility is to encourage lenders to provide loans on properties with operative petroleum storage tanks and to ensure the lender's eligibility to the Petroleum Storage Tank Fund if the borrower defaults on the loan. The Certificate of Eligibility is only available to lenders and may be requested for any loan dated on or after September 30, 1995, on the property, whether or not it involves a property transfer. The Certificate of Eligibility must have been issued before the lender acquired the property through default.

A Certificate of Eligibility will only be issued if all of the following conditions have been met:

  • The site is an operative site with underground or aboveground storage tanks
  • The tank operator is operating the site in full compliance with Colorado Petroleum Storage Tank regulations
  • Petroleum contamination does not exist on-site at the time the Certificate of Eligibility is issued
  • The mortgage or loan is dated on or after September 30, 1995

To receive a Certificate of Eligibility, the lender must submit the following documentation:

Applying to the Fund

To establish eligibility for reimbursement from the Fund as a lender who bears no responsibility for the release, the lender must submit the following documentation:

  • Original Application
  • Affidavit: Lender (signed before a notary public)
  • A copy of the original loan which shows the date of the loan and any reassignments of that loan
  • A copy of the foreclosure document or deed
  • Evidence that tanks were present on the property at one time (if tanks were not present on the property at the time the property was acquired)
  • A brief chronology of events related to the site history, when the lender acquired the property via foreclosure (or a deed in lieu of foreclosure), whether a site assessment was performed before the acquisition and how and when the contamination was discovered
  • Documentation verifying the merger (if the lender acquired the property through a merger)
  • A copy of the Certificate of Eligibility issued by OPS (if the original loan was dated after September 30, 1995)