Idaho will clean up underground petroleum storage tanks with grant from EPA

EPA awards $1.1 million to protect drinking water sources across the state.

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IDAHO, AUG 17, 2017 -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it awarded a total of $1.1 million in two-year grant funding for 2016-2018 to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to protect underground sources of drinking water from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks.

"Protecting sources of drinking water is one of EPA's most important missions," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA relies on state partners like the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to help fulfill that mission."

The two-year grant from 2016 to 2018 supports Idaho's Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program to investigate and clean up petroleum releases from leaking underground storage tanks that store petroleum (e.g. gasoline, diesel, kerosene, or jet fuel) or certain hazardous substances. Idaho DEQ's underground storage tank program requires owners and operators of tanks to report suspected releases, investigate suspected releases, and determine if a confirmed release requires cleanup. Idaho has about 3,500 regulated underground storage tanks.

"We appreciate this funding and support of Idaho's Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program," said Kristi Lowder, Idaho DEQ Underground Storage Tank Program Manager. "Ground water supplies about 95 percent of Idahoan's drinking water, so keeping it clean is a high priority."

The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requires that underground sources of drinking water be protected from contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. The greatest potential threat from a leaking underground storage tank is contamination of ground water, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. A leaking underground storage tank can present other health and environmental risks, including the potential for fire and explosion.