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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Leaking Underground Storage Tanks in Indian Country

Featured Projects
Yurok Tribe LUST Site Inventory
March 2008
graphic of Yurok Tribe Leaking storage tank inventory, click for a larger version

Larger Version

Davis Chevrolet (Tuba City, AZ)

The site of this abandoned gas station will be home to a hotel and a large department store in a few years, thanks to the Federally-funded cleanup scheduled to begin in April 2008. Details»

Inspection & Enforcement

EPA focuses on prevention of Leaking UST cases through its inspection and enforcement efforts. In addition to LUST cleanup efforts, EPA enforces against parties that are responsible for leaks.

Abandoned underground storage tanks that are often leaking threaten the natural resources, drinking water and health of many Tribal communities. In 2005, the EPA established the nationwide Indian Country Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Cleanup Initiative (the "Cleanup Initiative"), which aims to clean up as many of these sites as possible using federal funding.

Map of tribal lands where EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region is addressing abandoned and/or leaking USTs. Larger Version

EPA's Pacific Southwest Region is considered a national leader in this Cleanup Initiative. To date, the Region has cleaned up 15 sites using Federal funding and initiated investigations at an additional 65 abandoned and leaking UST sites. The 80 sites that have been addressed comprise over a third of the original 230 sites in the Region. Progress »

"Through the cleanups, we will be able to restore the land to productive use so that communities can benefit from economic redevelopment," said Stephen Etsitty, Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, which is one of EPA's partners.

In the late 1990's, EPA initiated an inventory of abandoned and/or leaking underground storage tanks in Indian Country. History of the Cleanup Initiative »

In 2005, the Agency secured resources to clean up sites in the following categories:

  1. Sites passed on to the Tribes by enterprises whose leases were written by the Federal government, and in which the Tribes never played a role; and
  2. Sites that pose an immediate threat, and therefore require prompt action from the Federal government.

The solid working relationship between the Region and its many Tribal partners continues to be vital to making progress towards the common goal of cleaning up sites. Next steps »

Contact Information

Rebecca Jamison (jamison.rebecca@epa.gov
Project Manager
Questions about LUST Cleanups in Indian Country and getting sites assessed by EPA

Steven Linder (linder.steven@epa.gov)
Underground Storage Tanks Program Manager
General Questions about EPA Pacific Southwest Region UST Program

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