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EPA Awards more than $4 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Clean Up Underground Petroleum Leaks in Alabama

Release Date: 07/10/2009
Contact Information: Kara Belle, (404) 562-8322, belle.kara@epa.gov

EPA: Funds help create jobs and protect Alabama’s land and water

(ATLANTA – July 10, 2009) In an effort to protect people where they live, work, and play, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the distribution of $4,086,000 to Alabama under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) 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.”

“The Recovery Act funds will help Alabama in its effort to provide long-term protection from pollution caused by leaking underground storage tank,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “The state will use the funds to assess and clean up abandoned tank sites while providing a boost to its economy through the creation of green jobs.”

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 Region 4’s underground storage tank program will enter into a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management in July 2009. This cooperative agreement will include more detailed descriptions of the state’s spending plan.

President Obama signed the ARRA on Feb. 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.

Learn more about EPA’s implementation of the ARRA: http://www.epa.gov/recovery/

For information on EPA’s implementation of the ARRA in Alabama, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region4/eparecovery