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News Releases from Region 04

$1 Million Grant will Help Mississippi Address Leaking Underground Petroleum Storage Tanks

EPA supports state efforts to perform cleanup work

Contact Information: 
Davina Marraccini (
404-562-8293, 404-562-8400

ATLANTA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a $1,094,000 grant to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to assist the state in cleaning up petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks throughout the state. This grant is funded through the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund for the purpose of supporting state efforts to address this type of contamination. States may use these funds to support staff that oversee the cleanup projects or to pay for contractual services to perform cleanup projects. Some states, including Mississippi, use the funding for a combination of both.

“Grants made under the LUST Trust Fund to our partners like MDEQ give states the flexibility to cleanup petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA is providing funds directly to Mississippi so that the state may determine how best to address its unique and critical environmental challenges.”

This grant will help protect citizens and the environment in Mississippi by supporting the state’s efforts to both clean up and prevent petroleum releases from USTs. Last fiscal year, Mississippi reported 113 new confirmed discharges, 100 cleanups completed and 419 still remaining to be addressed. Mississippi’s goals for this year are to complete 80 cleanups and to further reduce confirmed releases at UST facilities by five percent compared to last year.

A portion of the funds can be used by the state to carry out enforcement, corrective action and cost recovery activities. To the extent the State is successful in recovering LUST Trust Fund expenditures—including interest—from liable owners/operators, it will dedicate and use these funds for additional LUST cleanup activities.

In 1986, Congress created the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund to address petroleum releases from federally regulated underground storage tanks (USTs) by amending Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act. In 2005, the Energy Policy Act expanded eligible uses of the Trust Fund to include certain leak prevention activities.

The LUST Trust Fund provides money to oversee cleanups of petroleum releases by responsible parties; enforce cleanups by recalcitrant parties; pay for cleanups at sites where the owner or operator is unknown, unwilling, or unable to respond, or which require emergency action; and conduct inspections and other release prevention activities. The Trust Fund is financed by a 0.1 cent tax on each gallon of motor fuel sold nationwide.

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