DALLAS — EPA awarded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality around $2.5 million to respond to and prevent petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks (UST), according to a press release.

UST leaks can cause toxic contaminants to seep into groundwater sources people depend on for drinking water, and leaks could also allow toxic fumes and vapors to escape and collect in areas like basements or parking garages where they could cause respiratory illness or explosions, stated the release.

USTs contain petroleum products and some USTs are used to store hazardous substances, continued the release.

The release reported that the greatest potential hazard from a UST leak is the risk of contaminants seeping into the soil and contaminating groundwater, which nearly half of all Americans use for drinking water, making the water unpleasant or unsafe to drink.

Regularly monitoring pipes and takes can help minimize risk of contamination, noted the release.

Read the entire release here.