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$1.6M grant to help Wyoming address Leaking Underground Petroleum Storage Tanks

EPA supports state efforts to perform cleanup work

Contact Information: 
Richard Mylott (

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $1.6M grant to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) to assist the state in cleaning up petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. This grant is funded through the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund to support state efforts to address this type of contamination. Wyoming will use the funding to support staff that oversee and coordinate cleanup projects throughout the state.

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

EPA’s grant will help protect citizens and the environment in Wyoming by supporting efforts to both clean up and prevent petroleum releases from underground storage tanks. Last year, Wyoming reported 6 new confirmed discharges, 96 cleanups completed and 707 that are under investigation or active remediation. Wyoming’s goals for this year are to complete additional cleanups and further reduce the rate of confirmed releases at underground storage tank facilities, protecting human health and the environment.

A portion of these funds can be used by the state to carry out enforcement, corrective action and cost- recovery activities.

In 1986, Congress created the LUST Trust Fund to address petroleum releases from federally regulated underground storage tanks 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 fund is financed by a 0.1 cent tax on each gallon of motor fuel sold nationwide.

Approximately 558,000 underground storage tanks nationwide store petroleum or hazardous substances. The greatest potential hazard from leaking underground storage tanks is that the petroleum or other hazardous substance can seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. A leaking tank can also present other health and environmental risks, including the potential for fire and explosion.

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