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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Awards N.M. Over $553,000 To Maintain An Effective Underground Storage Tank Program

07/16/2020
Contact Information: 
Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant, R6Press@epa.gov or 214 665-2200

DALLAS – (July 16, 2020) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) a grant for $553,238 to support the underground storage tank program. The funds will help in cleaning up petroleum leaks and reducing backlog of sites needing additional action from impacts due to petroleum or hazardous substances leaks.

“Protecting aquifers and drinking water sources from pollution is central to EPA’s mission of safeguarding human health and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “This necessary funding will support our state partners as they take corrective action against leaks in underground storage tanks.”

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.

For more about underground storage tanks: https://www.epa.gov/ust

For more about EPA’s work in New Mexico: https://www.epa.gov/NM

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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central   

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