Monday, September 14, 2009

Environmental Issues/USTs

We have been researching the AL Code and the ADEM administrative code for information about underground storage tanks (USTs). For the environmental issues presentation, we were asked to include the Sinclair's restaurant property immediately east of the "Semester Parcel", across Boultier, on the north side of Fairview Ave.

We found out that this property was at one time a gas station, and that the petroleum UST underneath it was never removed. Big problem. On top of that, the strict ADEM requirements for monitoring, mediating, and/or removing such a UST were all instituted (1976) after the filling station converted into an art shop. Thus, the Sinclair's site was "grandfathered in." This hoists us up onto the horns of a dilemma; should we recommend that our client ignore the presence of the UST because the relevant state law does not apply and risk future liability because of leakage into an aquifer or the water table? Or should we recommend that our client expend enormous sums of capital up front to have the UST removed, only to later discover that he/she need not have bothered? Isn't playing with other people's money fun?

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