LANSING — State officials have reached a $35.2 million settlement with a company that will fund the cleanup of underground petroleum pollution at 79 sites statewide, including more than a dozen in Southwest and West Michigan.
Premcor Refining Group Inc., a subsidiary of petrochemical giant Valero Energy, resolved the dispute involving underground storage tanks that were identified as releasing or may release petroleum products into the ground. Premcor previously owned the properties before selling them to a company that went insolvent, state officials said.
The settlement, which will complete the cleanup work at the 79 sites, was reached with Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
“This significant influx of funding from Premcor will be used to protect the public health, safety and the environment at former Premcor sites and other sites throughout the State of Michigan,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark said in a statement. “The settlement will provide important funding at a time when resources for State programs are scarce.”
The settlement addresses “locations where a release has occurred or a threat of release exists from an underground storage tank system,” except where corrective action has already happened.
Premcor, which formed in 1988 in Delaware under a different name, hasn’t owned the properties in question since July 8, 1999.
About $1.25 million of the settlement will reimburse the state for cleanup work already completed at four sites, the state said.
The 79 properties under the settlement include 13 Clark gas stations in Allegan, Kalamazoo, Kent, Berrien, Calhoun and Ottawa counties and a Marathon station in Paw Paw in Van Buren County.
“This settlement ensures compliance with our laws and resolves outstanding environmental compliance concerns at numerous identified sites throughout Michigan, as well as providing additional funding for the State to use in its ecological programs,” Nessel said in a statement. “Michigan’s natural resources are valuable assets to the state and its residents, and we must ensure that those assets are not compromised by contamination. This agreement is a positive step forward for the environmental health of our state.”