Insurance at 21E sites
Thank you to Ryan Kath and the team at NBC10 Boston for this piece illustrating the serious challenges of home heating oil releases, especially for those who are uninsured. We expect two more parts to this series, with the final part focusing on legislation that would require insurance companies to provide specialized liquid fuel release insurance riders.  
 

While we can't comment on the specifics of this Blackstone property, we can say that Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs), attorneys, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and the LSP Association (LSPA) hear regularly from homeowners who are overwhelmed and desperate about how they will afford to clean up home heating oil releases on their properties to meet the requirements of the State’s environmental regulations. Home heating oil spills are emotional and difficult for all involved.  

Many homeowners do not have the financial means to pay for costly cleanups, and MassDEP does not have the public funds to do this itself. The backing of homeowners' insurance companies is critical to make cleanups financially viable. The LSPA is working with state legislators to mandate that insurance companies provide coverage to homeowners using oil heat - just like they do for homeowners using electric, gas, and other energy sources, and just as most homeowners would expect when purchasing insurance.  

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By:  James J. Decoulos, P.E., LSP; James Curtis, P.E., LSP; Richard Eurich, Esq.; and Arthur Kreiger, Esq.

At the May 8, 2014 LSPA Membership Meeting, the Loss Prevention Committee presented a special program on the complexities of insurance coverage issues at contaminated sites - especially homeowner sites.  This article is intended to provide a brief summary of the issues discussed at the meeting.  Note, it is impossible in this brief article to provide a full discussion of all the relevant issues that come into play in evaluating insurance.  Further, the exact coverage that is provided by a particular policy depends on the language of the policy, and the generalizations discussed at the meeting may not apply.   

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