1. What is the purpose of the Chapter 21J program?
    The purpose of the Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund ("Fund") is to prevent the need for environmental cleanup actions and to expedite environmental cleanup actions. The Fund accomplishes these objectives by providing partial reimbursements to owners or operators of underground storage tanks or underground storage tank systems who incur costs resulting from releases of petroleum products from underground storage tanks or underground storage tank systems.
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  2. How is the program funded?
    Two fees fund the program, an annual tank fee and a delivery fee. The annual tank fee of $250.00 per tank is imposed on the use or maintenance of an underground storage tank used to store petroleum product, except waste oil, at a dispensing facility. The delivery fee of  $250 per 10,000 gallon delivery load (i.e. 2.5 cents per gallon) cent per gallon is imposed on each gallon of petroleum product delivered to a dispensing facility from a bulk facility. Note that delivery fee will be adjusted annually based on the consumer price index. Effective January 1, 2015, the delivery fee will be increased to $253.95 per 10,000 gallon delivery load.
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  3. What types of tanks are subject to the fees?
    Any underground storage tank used to store petroleum product, except waste oil, at a dispensing facility is subject to the annual fee. The term "petroleum product" means a product that is obtained from distilling and processing crude oil and that is capable of being used as a fuel for the propulsion of a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft. The term does not include naphtha-type jet fuel, kerosene-type jet fuel, a petroleum product destined for use in chemical manufacturing or feedstock of that manufacturing or fuel oil used for heating purposes.
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  4. Who pays these fees and when are they due?
    The owner of an underground storage tank pays the annual tank fee. The invoices for the annual tank fee are mailed by May first of each year and are due by June first of the same year. Each person who orders or requests the delivery of petroleum product from a bulk facility pays the delivery fee. Delivery fees are collected by licensed Massachusetts Distributors, Unclassified Importers and Special Fuel Suppliers and remitted to the Department of Revenue (DOR) on or before the last day of the month immediately following the calendar month reporting period.
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  5. If I am not using the UST Program as a means of demonstrating financial responsibility, do I still have to pay the fees?
    Yes. There is no statutory provision that exempts anyone from the payment of the fees because the individual does not participate in the UST Program.
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  6. What if I do not pay the fees that are due?
    A. Section 12 of chapter 21J contains a penalty of five percent of the fee due and payable if any owner or operator who possesses a fee collected or payable fails to timely remit the fee to the DOR in the proper manner. There is an additional penalty of five percent if any owner or operator fails to file the report or pay the fee before the thirtieth day after the date on which the fee or report is due. Thereafter, for every thirty days or portion thereof that the report or fee remains unfiled or unpaid, the owner and operator shall pay a penalty of an additional five percent of the fee due and payable. These two penalties can be applied to the owner of an underground storage tank who does not voluntarily pay the annual tank fee. Any licensed Massachusetts Distributor, Unclassified Importer or Special Fuels Supplier who possesses a fee and who fails to remit the fee to the DOR when due is also subject to these penalties. Section 13 of chapter 21J provides for a fine not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) or imprisonment for up to two years, or both, for any violation of Chapter 21J or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder. There is an alternative civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars. Each day a violation occurs or continues is a separate offense.
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