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EPA awards more than $7.9 million in Recovery Act funds to clean up underground petroleum leaks in Mountains and Plains states

Release Date: 07/09/2009
Contact Information: Steve Pratt, 303-312-6575; Richard Mylott, 303-312-6654

Funds to help create jobs, protect land and water

(Denver, Colo. – July 9, 2009) In an effort to protect people where they live, work, and play, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the distribution of $7,948,000 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to assess and clean up underground storage tank petroleum leaks in the states of Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. 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 Recovery Act funding is a great opportunity to create jobs and protect land and groundwater from leaking underground storage tanks," said Carol Rushin, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator in Denver. "The jobs created will help considerably in cleaning up these high priority leaking tank projects."

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 States to implement cleanups. These cooperative agreements will include more detailed descriptions of state spending plans.

States receiving storage tank cleanup funds in EPA’s Mountains and Plains region include:

Colorado, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, $2,540,000
Montana, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, $1,301,000
South Dakota, South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, $1,249,000
Utah, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, $1,929,000
Wyoming, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, $929,000

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.

Learn more about EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: http://www.epa.gov/recovery/ .