DALLAS, TEXAS, Dec. 10, 2014 -- Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality a total of $2,506,000 to prevent and respond to petroleum leaks occurring in underground storage tanks (USTs).
Leaks from USTs allow toxic fumes and vapors to escape and collect in areas such as parking garages or basements where they can cause explosions or respiratory illness. Toxic contaminants can also leak into groundwater sources that people depend on for drinking water. As such, regularly monitoring tanks and pipes minimizes contamination risks.
USTs contain petroleum products like diesel fuel, gasoline and kerosene, while some tanks are used to store hazardous substances. The greatest potential hazard from a leaking UST is that these contaminants can seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater -- the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans -- making water unsafe or unpleasant to drink.
EPA regularly works with state, local and tribal governments to ensure that UST systems are installed, operated, maintained, and closed safely. UST compliance prevents harm to others and the environment. Further, EPA UST grants help provide proper technical assistance, outreach, training, inspections, and enforcement.