Grant Program for Underground Storage Tank System Upgrades
To comply with the federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations published on July 15, 2015, the Nevada UST program amended regulations NAC 459.9921 through NAC 459.999, inclusive. The amendments require all UST owners and operators who are currently subject to the 2005 Energy Policy Act and the UST regulations (40 CFR, Part 280) to implement periodic testing of spill buckets and containment sumps in accordance with 40 CFR 280.35. All existing UST systems installed prior to October 13, 2015 were required to perform an initial periodic test of this equipment no later than October 13, 2018.
Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 445C.310 required the Board to Review Claims to adopt regulations needed to administer a Grant Program that will minimize the economic burden of compliance with the new periodic testing requirements for owners and operators who have a financial need. The regulations (R049-21) were approved by the Board to Review Claims on December 14, 2017 and adopted December 19, 2017. Amendments to these regulations were approved on March 10, 2022, and adopted April 11, 2022.
General Questions About The Grant Program:
Am I eligible?
Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a grant for UST upgrades:
- The storage tank systems requiring upgrades must be registered with the state UST program and independently operated and owned/leased by the applicant.
- The storage tanks must be enrolled in the Petroleum Fund.
- The registered applicant or their business must be a small business as defined by NAC 445C.210(1)(f):
- Receives $4 million or less in gross annual receipts or total income
- Has an annual throughput of 1 million gallons or less of total petroleum products sold at the site needing upgrades
- Employs 150 or fewer employees
- Is registered with the Secretary of State and in good standing
- The site is in compliance with UST requirements, or a waiver has been provided by NDEP’s Administrator that the purchase and installation of the storage tank upgrades will result in the operator’s compliance with UST requirements.
What is covered?
The purchase and installation of spill buckets, containment sumps, and other equipment approved by the Division that is subject to periodic testing and may require replacement to prevent a release to the environment. The maximum grant available for each facility is $90,000.
How much money is available for the grant program?
The amount of grant money available for UST upgrades will fluctuate annually and is dependent upon the amount of money collected by the Petroleum Fund throughout the fiscal year, the amount of reimbursement claims paid to claimants during that year, and costs associated with other State-lead cleanup projects. Based on prior reconciliation of Petroleum Fund expenditures, NDEP estimates approximately $2,000,000 will be available year to year for grant awards. If the combined amount of money requested by all grant applicants exceeds the money available for grant awards, applicants will be prioritized by need (see below). Any applicant that is not awarded a grant may apply the following year.
How do I apply?
The application is an online process. In order to adequately prepare yourself for the application, download the checklist provided below, and assemble the necessary documentation before beginning your grant application. The requested documentation is required by law and ensures applicants that have the greatest financial need are ranked higher than those with a lesser financial need. It is important that documentation requested in the application is accurate and complete. The grant application period is open from July1 through March 31 of the following calendar year. Review of the applications will occur through June of each year. All applicants will be notified via an award letter or denial letter after July 1st. Any applicant that does not receive a grant award may reapply annually until an award is received.
Once you have reviewed the Grant Application Checklist and collected the documents necessary to apply, you must log into your account on the Nevada Environmental Activities database. Once logged in to your organization, you will see a tab entitled Grant Program. Click on this tab to begin a new application. PLEASE NOTE - If you have already started an application but did not finish it, there is a separate button that allows you to "Resume Grant Application". Please use this button instead of beginning a new application.
What information must I provide with my application to demonstrate I own a small business and have a financial need?
Fund staff strongly recommend any owner or operator applying for a Grant download the Grant Application Checklist prior to starting the application. The checklist outlines what documents must be submitted for Fund staff to determine eligibility, financial need, and award ranking.
How are grant applicants ranked?
Applicants shall be ranked in the following order: 1) An applicant’s financial need as demonstrated by the documentation submitted with the application; 2) The amount of fuel dispensed annually at the facility for which the grant is being requested (less fuel throughput equates to a greater grant need); and 3) The proximity of the facility for which a grant is being requested to other public petroleum dispensing locations.
What is required of me if I receive a grant award?
Grant program recipients must provide Petroleum Fund staff with the following:
- Notice prior to purchasing and installing the equipment necessary for upgrades
- Access to the petroleum dispensing location for inspection of newly installed upgrade equipment, or upon request, documentation that the equipment for upgrades has been installed and the associated testing records
- All invoices related to the upgrades within 30 days of completing the installation
- Any additional information requested by Petroleum Fund staff to verify compliance with the grant program regulations
- Any unspent grant allocation must be repaid to the Division with 60 days following completion of the upgrade installation
- Within 30 days of Petroleum Fund Staff request, repayment of any grant funds spent on purchase or installation of equipment upgrades not authorized by the Division
If I am approved for a grant award, how and when will I be paid?
Grant awards can be issued once the Grantee and Administrator of NDEP sign a funding agreement. The grant award will be issued by electronic funds transfer to an account you establish with the State of Nevada Controller's Office. This can be accomplished by visiting the State Controller’s website at https://controller.nv.gov/Buttons/VendorDB/. Note, review and creation of your account may take up to 10 days.
- If you are already registered with the Controller’s Office as a vendor, you will need to provide your vendor registration information, including vendor number, name, and address.
Is accepted grant money required to be reported as taxable income?
There are possible tax implications with accepting grant money. The State of Nevada Controller's Office is required to report payments from the State as taxable income. As such, grant recipients may receive an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099 G upon acceptance of funds for UST upgrades. An applicant should seek the counsel of a tax adviser prior to submitting a grant application to address any tax concerns.