CADILLAC — It's been 20 years since the Premcor Refining Group has owned 79 sites where underground tanks leaked petroleum products into the ground.

The company transferred the property to another company that went insolvent.

But the environmental costs remained.

Now Premcor has reached a $35 million settlement with the Michigan Attorney General and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to pay for environmental clean-up costs. About $1.25 million will be used to pay back EGLE for work that's already been done.

“This settlement agreement resolves claims between The Premcor Refining Group Inc. and the State of Michigan,‘ EGLE Director Liesl Clark said in a news release. “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. The settlement will provide important funding at a time when resources for State programs are scarce.‘

One of the 79 sites is at 6121 M-115 in Cadillac.

EGLE spokesperson Scott Dean told the Cadillac News that the site has already been cleaned up.

"The site has had historical releases from two former owners, Premcor and Blarney Castle," Dean explained in an email. "Both have done clean-up work and the site is now a Burger King parking lot."

EGLE is double-checking whether the clean-up work that's already been done at the site in Cadillac is good enough.

"The site is now awaiting final audit of its closure report," Dean said, explaining that "we are reviewing the closure report to determine if all exposure pathways have been eliminated and there are no risks to human health and the environment from releases."

Premcor will pay the $35 million to EGLE over the next year, the state said.

Cadillac News