About PLIA

Mission

The Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (PLIA) provides an effective and efficient government funding model that helps owners and operators meet financial responsibility and environmental cleanup requirements for underground storage tanks.

Our Programs

Commercial Underground Storage Tanks

Underground Storage Tank Reinsurance Program

PLIA reinsures private insurance companies to ensure that pollution liability insurance is available and affordable across Washington. PLIA reinsures up to 80% of Washington’s petroleum underground storage tank infrastructure.

Underground Storage Tank Loan & Grant Program

PLIA provides up to $10 million per year of financial assistance to owners and operators of petroleum underground storage tanks who wish to replace or upgrade aged fuel systems, clean up past contamination caused by an underground storage tank release or upgrade infrastructure to dispense alternative fuels.

Petroleum Technical Assistance Program (PTAP)

PTAP expands PLIA’s technical assistance program from heating oil tanks to include qualifying petroleum sites.

Services include:

  •  Informal advice and assistance on the administrative and technical requirements of the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA).
  •  Written opinions on independent remedial actions for qualifying petroleum cleanup sites.

Customers must apply to receive technical assistance and written opinions and pay a one-time program fee of $7,500. Customers submitting 10 or more sites to PTAP qualify for PLIA’s Portfolio Management Process, which entitles the Customer to a dedicated Senior Project Manager and Technical Manager for all sites within the portfolio.

Heating Oil

Heating Oil Pollution Liability Insurance Program

PLIA insures owners of heating oil tanks up to $60,000 to clean up contamination from a heating oil tank release. To qualify for coverage owners must register the tank prior to the release.

There is no cost to the owner for this coverage.

Heating Oil Technical Assistance Program (HOTAP)

PLIA provides technical assistance to owners of heating oil tanks who are cleaning up a release from their tanks. This program is available to insured and non-insured tank owners for a one-time program fee of $350.

Services include:

  • Informal advice and assistance on the administrative and technical requirements of the MTCA.
  • Written opinions on independent remedial actions for qualifying petroleum cleanup sites.
  • Opinion letters issued within 45 days.

Funding

PLIA and its programs are funded from the Pollution Liability Insurance Program Trust Account and the Heating Oil Pollution Liability Trust Account.

Neither PLIA nor any of its programs receive any State General Fund revenue.

The main source of revenue for PLIA and its programs is the Petroleum Products Tax (pdf), an excise tax of 0.3 percent on the wholesale value of petroleum on its first introduction into the state.

RCW 82.23A.020 requires the Petroleum Product Tax to be reinstated when the unrestricted account balance is less than $7,500,000. When the balance reaches $15,000,000 the tax is suspended.

The Heating Oil Pollution Liability Trust Account receives its funding from a 1.2 cents per gallon fee paid yearly by heating oil dealers.

The PLIA model has operated in a remarkably low cost and efficient manner. In the early 1990s, most states adopted a petroleum tax to address UST issues, and those taxes have remained constantly imposed. Not only has the PLIA model saved businesses millions of dollars on insurance premiums, it has saved them even more by not having the Petroleum Product Tax constantly in effect.