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EPA Grant Spurs Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Project in Metlakatla Indian Community

Release Date: 7/1/2002
Contact Information: Bill Dunbar
(206) 553-1203

July 1, 2002

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the agency will provide up to $100,000 to the Metlakatla Indian Community to clean up three underground storage tanks and associated properties in the Annette Islands Reserve south of Juneau, Alaska.

Cleaning up the tanks and soil on these properties will help return them to productive use and promote local economic expansion. The project, coordinated by the Metlakatla Indian Community(MIC), will clean and restore two sites, including the police station and Varsity Services, a former filling station. A largely timber and fishing-dependant community that has suffered many economic setbacks, MIC is hoping to use this project funding to help spur travel and tourism opportunities locally.

Project coordinators expect to use their designation as an EPA Brownfields Showcase Community (2000) to help springboard this latest cleanup and development drive. The two targeted sites had tanks that contained gasoline and may also have had MTBE added. Both gasoline and MTBE can contaminate groundwater and pose other public and environmental health threats.

The EPA grant for the Metlakatla Indian Community is part of a multi-million dollar EPA national program to remove abandoned underground storage tanks that threaten public health & safety and stand as barriers to local economic development efforts.