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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

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

Leaking Underground Storage Tanks in Indian Country


This graph shows that, of 29 sites closed, 14 are in assessment or cleanup

The figure above illustrates the progress EPA has made in addressing Indian Country LUST sites since 2005. Larger version

Since 2005, the EPA's Pacific Southwest Region (the "Region") and the Tribes spent over $4 million and addressed or begun to address 80 sites out of its original Indian Country universe of 230.

A total of 29 sites have received approvals for Federal funding. Of those:

  • 15 have been closed.
  • 7 are currently undergoing cleanup operations.
  • 7 more will be assessed for presence of contamination in 2008.

In addition, the Region has performed preliminary investigations on 51 sites in 2007 in order to evaluate their eligibility for Federally-funded cleanups.

In 2008, 10 to 12 additional sites will be selected for Federally-funded work in Fiscal Year 2009.
More on future steps

As of September 2007, the Pacific Southwest Region holds almost 50 percent of the national total of known and potential LUST cases in Indian Country, which is approximately 460. (The National totals for Federal-lead cleanups are currently unavailable.)

Featured Site: Davis Chevrolet

The abandoned "Davis Chevrolet" site in Tuba City, AZ, is currently being cleaned up using Federal funding. After cleanup is complete, the location will feature a new hotel, supermarket and department store for the Tuba City community. The businesses will save community members up to a 70-mile trip to the nearest full-scale department stores. They will also serve a growing tourist route that passes through Tuba City. The local tribal business office is exploring additional redevelopment options for the location.

Petroleum contamination from the USTs had been threatening the health of the lands of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe. The contamination spread to soil and groundwater, and has been migrating towards a drinking water well that is less than 700 yards away from the site. It was also moving toward local springs that the Hopi Tribe uses for ceremonial purposes.

Hopi and Navajo environmental staff worked with EPA and contractors to assess the site, outline the extent of the underground contamination and engineer a system to clean it up. The first phase of the active remediation system is scheduled to be put in place in May 2008.

Photo of:

The Davis Chevrolet site before the building was torn down.

Photo of:

The fenced-in area lies adjacent to where the gas station used to be. The contaminated soil at the location was excavated in Nov. 2007 as part of site assessment activities. A Tribal community is pictured in the background.

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