Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Program Status and Issues [Updated March 14, 2006]   [open pdf - 40KB]

From the Document: "To address a nationwide pollution problem caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs), Congress created a leak prevention, detection, and cleanup program in 1984. In 1986, Congress established the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund to help the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states pay the costs of cleaning up leaking petroleum USTs where owners fail to do so, and to oversee LUST cleanup activities. Much progress has been made in the program, but challenges remain. A major issue concerns the discovery of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) at thousands of LUST sites. This gasoline additive, used to reduce air pollution from auto emissions, is very water soluble, and leaks involving MTBE are more costly to remediate. Another issue is that state resources have not met the demands of overseeing the UST regulatory program. States have long sought larger appropriations from the trust fund to support the LUST program, and some have sought more flexibility in using LUST funds. The presence of MTBE in water supplies heightened congressional interest in authorizing fund appropriations to address MTBE leaks and enforce the leak prevention program."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21201
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