July 24, 2009

Rhode Island to Receive Nearly $1 Million to Clean Up Leaky Underground Storage Tanks

Washington, D.C. – Rhode Island will receive $977,000 in federal funding to promote programs to clean up petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks, the state’s congressional delegation announced today.
The funding was awarded to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which the delegation supported. 
“This federal funding will help put people to work, protect public health, and restore critical environmental cleanup efforts. We need to ensure that families, communities, and businesses have safe, clean air and drinking water. This federal investment will help keep that commitment by reducing pollution and preventing it from seeping into our water supply,” said Senator Jack Reed.
“This funding will put Rhode Islanders to work removing contamination from our soil and water that threaten the health of Rhode Island families,” said Whitehouse.
“This program will save Rhode Island from both future environmental damage and from future cleanup costs,” said Congressman Patrick Kennedy
“This recovery funding to cleanup leaking underground storage tanks will allow us to make a much needed investment to protect our public water system and keep our environment clean and safe,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.
RIDEM will use the additional funding to assess and cleanup petroleum releases from abandoned storage tanks that are no longer in use and where the owners of the tanks are either unknown or unable to pay for the cleanup.   Nationwide there are approximately 200,000 known sites in need of cleanup.  RIDEM will partner with local contractors to clean up the contaminated sites, thereby creating local jobs and providing additional economic benefit by allowing the areas to be reused once any public health concerns are removed.

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