TRENTON -Legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Coniglio which would exempt the owner of an underground storage tank from repaying a state grant for safety upgrades if the property is taken over by a municipality through condemnation or eminent domain, was approved by the full Senate today.
“Leaking underground storage tanks are a serious threat to our residents health because they can contaminate our drinking water, ” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “It is extremely important that we make sure that all underground tanks are repaired and upgraded in order to ensure the public’s well-being.”
The bill S-240, would no longer obligate the business owner to repay the conditional hardship grant from the DEP. Currently, upon the sale of the facility, the grant was to be immediately paid in full.
“The DEP made the health of New Jersey residents a top priority by establishing the grant program that gave business owners a chance to afford necessary repairs and upgrades,” said Senator Coniglio. “The hardship grants were to be repaid regardless of the circumstances. I feel It would be even more difficult for property owners to pay back the grants after they are forced to give up their land, and hence the should be exceptions to the rule.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.