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Connecticut Awarded $2 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Clean Up Underground Petroleum Leaks, Creating Jobs, Protecting Land and Water

Release Date: 08/12/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – August 12, 2009) – In an effort to protect people where they live, work and play, EPA is awarding $2 million to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to assess and clean up underground storage tank petroleum leaks.

The greatest potential hazard from a leaking underground storage tank is that the petroleum or other hazardous substances seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly one-third of all Americans.

“We’re providing immediate growth opportunities for communities across the nation, as well as long-term protection from dangerous pollution in the land and water,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “EPA is putting people to work by serving our core mission of protecting human health and the environment.”

This money is part of $197 million appropriated under the Recovery Act to address shovel-ready sites nationwide contaminated by petroleum from leaking underground storage tanks. The funds will be used for overseeing assessment and cleanup of leaks from underground storage tanks or directly paying for assessment and cleanup of leaks from federally regulated tanks where the responsible party is unknown, unwilling or unable to finance, or the cleanup is an emergency response.

EPA regional underground storage tank programs will enter into cooperative agreements with CT DEP in the coming weeks. These cooperative agreements will include more detailed descriptions of state spending plans.

“The Recovery Act is providing nearly $10 million across New England to speed up the important work of assessing and cleaning up underground storage tank leaks,” said Ira W. Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. “This is an investment with real dividends: healthy communities, a clean environment and good-paying jobs.”

“The protection of Connecticut’s groundwater is a primary mission of the DEP and discharges from underground storage tanks used for the commercial storage of heating oil and gasoline are often a threat to our groundwater supply,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Amey Marrella. “This funding will assist the DEP in assessing and cleaning up areas where releases have occurred, with the important added benefit of creating jobs. Groundwater supplies drinking water for about sixty percent of the state’s population – two million of our state’s 3.5 million residents. Protecting this natural resource is essential for the health and safety of our residents and these stimulus dollars will help in that effort.”

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can visit Recovery.gov to see how every dollar is being invested.

More information:

Recovery efforts and the environment in New England (www.epa.gov/region1/eparecovery/)

EPA information on
underground storage tanks (www.epa.gov/swerust1/index.htm)

National EPA Recovery Act underground storage tank efforts (www.epa.gov/swerust1/eparecovery/index.htm)

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