May 19, 2008

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE $1.1 MILLION EPA GRANT TO MARYLAND TO HELP CLEAN UP UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD), announced today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Maryland Department of the Environment a $1,180,435 grant to clean up approximately 275 leaking underground storage tanks.

 

Maryland had 11,026 leaking underground storage tanks.   To date, 10,253 of these sites these sites have been cleaned up through the federally funded Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.   There are currently 773 leaking underground storage tank sites remaining in Maryland, and the $1.1 million EPA grant will go to remediating 275 of these sites.

  

"Leaking underground storage tanks are a serious threat to the health and welfare of all Marylanders," said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.   "I am pleased that this EPA grant will enable MDE to continue its work in cleaning these hazardous sites as quickly as possible."

 

"This federal funding is an important investment in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for Marylanders near leaking underground storage tanks," said Senator Mikulski.  "I will continue to fight to include funds in the federal checkbook that keep our communities safe."

 

In 1986, Congress created the Leaking Underground Storage Trust Fund to oversee cleanups by responsible parties and to pay for cleanups at sites where the owner or operator is unknown, unwilling or unable to respond, or sites that require emergency action.   A leaking underground storage tank site is an area contaminated from a leaking underground storage tank.   These leaks can be caused by tank corrosion, faulty installation or inadequate operation and maintenance. Nationally, the EPA estimates that 4% of these sites contain hazardous substances.