The Petrofund was created by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1987 in response to federal legislation requiring all owners and operators of regulated underground petroleum storage tanks to show that they have up to $1 million immediately available to respond to a petroleum tank leak or liability to a third party. To help tank owners and operators fulfill these requirements, and to address historical petroleum contamination throughout the state, the legislature made financial assistance available through the Petrofund.
In Minnesota, petroleum storage tank owners and operators are eligible to apply for up to $1 million of Petrofund reimbursement if they have incurred investigative or cleanup costs, or if they owe damages to a third party. Eligible applicants include homeowners, school districts, government agencies, sovereign tribal nations, and petroleum retailers. To date, the Petrofund has reimbursed over $400 million.
Phone: (651) 539-1515 or 800-638-0418
Mail: Minnesota Department of Commerce, Petrofund Program, 85 7th Place East Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55101-2198
Leaks from petroleum storage tanks are one of the nation's leading causes of groundwater pollution. To prevent further soil and groundwater contamination and to protect the safety of all Minnesotans, the state's Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board (Petrofund Board) developed a new initiative to help landowners address the problem and cover the costs. In 2003 the Petrofund Board received authorization from the Minnesota Legislature to pay for the removal of abandoned underground storage tanks across Minnesota.
The Legislature defines an abandoned tank as an underground petroleum storage tank that was taken out of service before December 22, 1988. Tanks taken out of service after December 22, 1988 also qualify if the tank owner did not know of the existence of the tank and can show that they could not have reasonably known of the tank's existence at the time they first acquired the property.
Once you determine that you own an abandoned tank and would like it removed, you may apply to the Board for its removal. After your application has been approved, the Board's staff will hire private contractors to remove the tank and conduct the necessary environmental sampling. If a leak is discovered during tank removal, the Board will also pay for the preparation and submission of an "excavation report" to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and if necessary, will remove and dispose of a limited amount of petroleum-contaminated soil.
In order to be eligible, owners of abandoned tanks must agree to:
Grant the Board and its contractors written access to the property where the tank is located, and
Release the Board from liability for the work performed
In addition, if a leak is discovered and an investigation of the petroleum contamination becomes necessary, you must agree to:
Complete the investigation and cleanup work to the best of your ability.
Get proposals and hire a qualified environmental consultant to perform the additional work.
The Petrofund helps you manage these costs by providing reimbursement of up to 90% for the reasonable and necessary costs you incur in addressing the leak.
Lastly, you must agree that the Board is not responsible for surface restoration, such as replacing grass, asphalt, or concrete. To ensure public safety, the Board's contractor will fill the hole back up to grade level, but the contractor will not perform any additional surface restoration work.
Applying to have your abandoned tank removed is easy. A two-page application form is available by contacting Petrofund staff or by downloading it here.
Minnesota Department of Commerce
85 E. 7th Place East, Suite 500
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101
To register a complaint about consultants or contractors registered with the Petrofund, please call 651-539-1515 or 800-638-0418. Or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Formal complaint procedures are the same as for other licensed businesses and can be found here.