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EPA Awards $1.6 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Clean Up Underground Petroleum Leaks in West Virginia

Release Date: 08/18/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (August 18, 2009) - In an effort to protect people where they live, work, and play, EPA announced the distribution of $1,643,000 to West Virginia 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.

“This funding is crucial when you consider the damage that leaking underground storage tanks can cause,” said William C. Early, acting administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. "It puts West Virginia in a position to move quickly on cleaning up leaks and preventing future releases.”

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’s regional underground storage tank program will enter into a cooperative agreement with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. These cooperative agreements will include more detailed descriptions of state spending plans.

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 at http://www.epa.gov/recovery/ and for information on the implementation in West Virginia, go to: www.epa.gov/region03/eparecovery/ust.html.

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