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EPA Awards $197 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Clean Up Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Leaks, Creating Jobs, Protecting Land and Water

Release Date: 04/08/2009
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, 202-564-4355 / 7873 / jones.enesta@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – April 8, 2009) In an effort to protect people where they live, work, and play, EPA announced the distribution of $197 million appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to assess and clean up underground storage tank petroleum leaks. EPA estimates that these funds will create or retain significant numbers of jobs and contribute to at least 1,600 cleanups around the country.

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

The funds will be used for overseeing the 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, unable, or the clean up is an emergency response.

States and territories will get $190.7 million of the total funding in the form of cooperative agreements to address shovel-ready sites within their jurisdictions. EPA will use $6.3 million of the total funding to assess and clean up shovel-ready sites in Indian country.

EPA regional underground storage tank programs will enter into cooperative agreements with states and territories in spring 2009. These cooperative agreements will include more detailed descriptions of state spending plans.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 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.

Information on the underground storage tank funding and EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: http://www.epa.gov/oust/eparecovery