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EPA Kicks-off Tribal Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Campaign with Nez Perce Assessment

Release Date: 5/17/2005
Contact Information: Mike Shepherd
(206) 553-0702

May 17, 2005

SEATTLE -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, coordinating with area tribal nations, launched a regional initiative to assess and clean up abandoned leaking underground storage tanks on tribal lands.

The EPA will begin the regional assessment and cleanup campaign at four sites on the Nez Perce reservation. EPA officials are also gathering information on other sites on other reservations to determine eligibility and priority for assessment and cleanup. The EPA expects to address all eligible sites in the next several years.

"We're looking forward to working with tribes to remove abandoned leaking underground tanks on their land," said Mike Bussell, the EPA's Regional Director of Compliance and Enforcement. "When we clean up contaminated sites and protect groundwater, we can make a real difference in people's lives in Indian Country."

Next, EPA will be meeting with regional Tribal leaders and representatives to develop a list of other potential sites and an action plan for reaching other reservations in the Northwest.

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