Environmental Protection

13 States to Get $45 M in Stimulus for UST Cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded more than $45 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to 13 states to be used to assess and clean up underground petroleum leaks. California and then Texas received the most funding from the awards.

According to EPA, the money is part of $197 million appropriated to address leaking underground petroleum storage tanks. The funds will be used for assessment and cleanup oversight 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.

The awards and the state spending coordinating agencies are:

  • $3,219,000, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality;
  • $1,670,000, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality;
  • $15,577,000, the California Water Resources Board;
  • $2,540,000, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment;
  • $2,680,000, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality;
  • $1,301,000, Montana Department of Environmental Quality;
  • $1,266,000, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection;
  • $1,590,000, New Mexico Environment Department;
  • $2,330,000, Oklahoma Corporation Commission;
  • $1,249,000, South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
  • $10,700,000, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality;
  • $1,929,000, Utah Department of Environmental Quality;
  • $929,000, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.
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.

"The Recovery Act is accelerating the cleanup of many abandoned leaking underground storage tank sites that pose a threat to our limited groundwater resources," said Laura Yoshii, acting regional administrator for the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "These cleanups will protect our valuable groundwater supplies, while creating green jobs that will improve our economy."

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. Anyone can visit www.recovery.gov to see how every dollar is being invested.

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