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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Announces More Than $1.3 Million to State of Texas for Underground Storage Tank Programs

12/12/2019
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (Dec. 12, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) a grant of more than $1.3 million to support underground storage tank programs. The funds will help detect and prevent leaks from these tanks, which can hold petroleum or hazardous substances.

“The water we see in lakes and rivers, as well as our drinking water, often starts out underground,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Protecting this groundwater from storage tank leaks means cleaner water resources for drinking, recreation, and ecosystems.”

The grant supports TCEQ’s underground storage tank program in detecting and preventing leaks and carrying out related enforcement activities. The program works to encourage storage tank owners and operators properly run and maintain their tanks and ensure they monitor tanks according to regulations to help prevent leaks of petroleum and hazardous substances.

Background

An underground storage tank system (UST) is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. Until the mid-1980s, most USTs were made of bare steel, which is likely to corrode over time and allow UST contents to leak. The greatest potential hazard from a leaking UST 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 UST can present other health and environmental risks, including the potential for fire and explosion.

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