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Massachusetts Gets $3.1 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Help Clean Up Underground Petroleum Leaks, Create Jobs, Protect Land and Water

Release Date: 08/20/2009
Contact Information: Contact: David Deegan, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – August 20, 2009) – In an effort to protect people where they live, work and play, EPA has awarded $3,118,000 to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to assess and clean up underground storage tank petroleum leaks.

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.

“We’re providing immediate growth opportunities for communities across the nation, as well as long-term protection from dangerous pollution in the land and water,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “EPA is putting people to work by serving our core mission of protecting human health and the environment.”

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.

EPA regional underground storage tank programs will enter into cooperative agreements with MA DEP in the coming weeks. These cooperative agreements will include more detailed descriptions of state spending plans.

“The Recovery Act is providing nearly $10 million across New England to speed up the important work of assessing and cleaning up underground storage tank leaks,” said Ira W. Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. “This is an investment with real dividends: healthy communities, a clean environment and good-paying jobs.”

"These stimulus funds will cleanup the contamination caused by leaking underground storage tanks, helping to create and protect jobs for the citizens of the Commonwealth," said Laurie Burt, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. "Among the sites that will be addressed through this program are abandoned properties that pose a risk to public health and the environment and where the contamination is a roadblock to redevelopment and economic revitalization. We look forward to working with municipalities to identify and cleanup these sites and, through this work, improve our environment, our communities, and our economy."

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can visit to see how every dollar is being invested.

More information:

Recovery efforts and the environment in New England (

EPA information on
underground storage tanks (

National EPA Recovery Act underground storage tank efforts (

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