Law lets state help more gas stations with leaky tank costs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation so Michigan spends more to reimburse gas station owners to clean up their leaky, environmentally risky fuel tanks.

The Republican-backed measure, which was opposed by Democrats, creates a program allowing gas station operators to be reimbursed for addressing leaks from underground petroleum tanks discovered and reported before late December 2014. They currently can be reimbursed for leaks discovered after that point.

Critics say Michigan’s first responsibility is cleaning up known threats at abandoned gas stations – not helping owners of sites already cleaned up. Supporters counter Michigan has surplus revenue that’s accumulating more quickly than can be spent solely on orphan sites.

The law signed Thursday also lets a fund be used to reimburse local governments for costs to address contaminates spilled on roads.

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