House approves Rep. Jesse Young’s bill to provide financial help for gas station owners with aging/leaking underground tanks
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Small-time gas station owners with aging or leaking tanks who haven't been able to afford replacements are often forced to close. But now there's word from Olympia that help might be on the way. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
Sattgast: Republican State Representative Jesse Young of Gig Harbor says the numbers are massive. Nearly half of the underground storage tanks in Washington need to be repaired or replaced. And it's nearly impossible to get banks to finance the costs.
Young: “If someone discovers that there is a leaking tank, and they don't have the financing to get rid of it, it's going to force them to close.”
Sattgast: That's potential closure of hundreds of small gas stations and family-owned businesses, particularly in rural parts of the state. But help soon could be coming from a bill making its way through the Legislature.
Young: “It creates a loan program where gas station owners can actually go and get the financing they need to change out that tank and upgrade it.”
The program also includes grants and is funded from a refined petroleum tax already being paid by wholesalers. Young says it could also be used to finance electric vehicle charging stations at local Mom and Pop stores.
House Bill 2357, which is supported by environmentalists and the petroleum industry, passed the House unanimously Wednesday. But it still must make its way through the Senate.
John Sattgast, Olympia
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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