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EPA ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS ABANDONED UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS IN ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Release Date: 11/02/2000
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov
The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Anderson, South Carolina is one of ten cities that has been selected to participate in a new initiative to clean up abandoned underground storage tanks (USTs). Like the Agency's highly successful Brownfields' program, the new program, called USTfields, will provide grants to states for community pilot projects to plan cleanups, stop contamination of groundwater, protect public health, and allow for future economic development of the sites.

Anderson, SC, along with nine other communities are targeted to receive $100,000 each for assessment and clean-up of these abandoned tanks. The other nine communities include: Wilmington, Del; Nashua, N.H.; Trenton, N.J.; Chicago, Ill.; Kansas City, Mo.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Oakland, Calif.; and Portland, Ore. EPA plans to select 40 more USTfields pilot projects in 2001. These USTfields pilots are intended to be a supplement or attachment to an existing EPA cleanup and redevelopment pilot such as a Brownfields assessment.

The grant will allow the State of South Carolina to team with the City of Anderson to assess and clean up potential petroleum contamination at former gasoline stations. The city will then be able to continue the revitalization of its downtown area.

Like Brownfields, an USTfields, is a site or a portion of a site that has actual or perceived contamination, as well as an active potential for redevelopment or reuse. By using federal grant money, local communities can interest developers and involved citizens in helping plan cleanups of these tanks, leverage new funds to complete the job and move on to future developments that otherwise would not have been possible. In addition to protecting public health and the environment, such actions will create new commerce,new jobs and local neighborhood improvements.

Petroleum contamination is generally excluded from cleanup under EPA's Superfund and Brownfields programs due to the petroleum exemption under the Superfund law. As a result, the cleanup and redevelopment of properties containing abandoned underground storage tanks are either not occurring or are delayed. To address this impediment to cleanup and redevelopment EPA is undertaking this USTfields Initiative. Information about the USTfields Initiative is available at: http://www.epa.gov/oust under "What's New" or call the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 703-412-9810 or 800-424-9346.