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EPA will assess Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands UST leaks

The U.S. agency will provide $4 million for recovery efforts by assessing underground storage tank leaks.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has allocated nearly four million dollars to investigate and fix underground petroleum storage tanks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were either damaged by, or had problems made worse by, Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

While immediate environmental risks from the hurricanes were addressed, this ongoing program assesses current conditions and makes federal dollars and resources available to protect public health and the environment.

“Underground storage tanks are important business infrastructure and are essential for fuelling vehicles and other necessary items, (…) but when these tanks are not properly maintained or repaired, people and the environment can be at risk from leaks of hazardous substances that can make their way into our air, water, and land,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez.

Underground assessment work will include testing of underground storage tank system components such as tanks and piping, sampling and analysis of soil and groundwater samples.  Cleanup work can include monitoring, treatment or removal of contaminated soils and groundwater.

In Puerto Rico there are about 4,500 federally regulated underground storage tanks located at over 3,000 facilities and in the U.S. Virgin Islands there are about 140 active federally regulated underground storage tanks at its approximately 65 facilities.

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