Environmental Protection

EPA Gives Recovery Funds for Underground Petroleum Leaks

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 27 announced the distribution of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the clean up of underground petroleum leaks to the following:

  • The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, CNMI Division of Environmental Quality, $57,000.
  • Guam, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, $138,000.
  • Hawaii, Department of Health, $1,317,000.
  • Rhode Island, Department of Environmental Management, $977,000.
  • Illinois, Illinois EPA, $7.4 million.
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."

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.

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