Communities asked to help identify abandoned underground storage tank sites to benefit from Recovery Act funding

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-171 For Immediate Release: June 25, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., –On downtown corners across Missouri, there are vacant buildings that are unoccupied because of what is usually buried a few feet below ground: abandoned underground petroleum storage tanks.

Before these properties may become occupied again, they need to be assessed to determine the proper cleanup action. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will receive more than $3 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or Recovery Act to address these properties. The Department will assess and clean up abandoned underground petroleum storage tanks sites allowing the areas to once again become an economically viable and functional part of local communities.

The Department is asking Missouri communities to help identify abandoned underground petroleum storage tanks sites where there is not a clearly identifiable responsible party, often a former owner or operator. When selecting sites to benefit from the Recovery Act funds, the Department will also take into consideration the planned or potential future use for abandoned underground storage tank sites. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is committed to using the Recovery Act funds to provide a positive economic impact, so sites where there is potential for reuse and redevelopment, including the creation of jobs, will be given a higher priority than sites where there is not a redevelopment plan.

Abandoned underground storage tanks pose environmental threats and economic development barriers for the redevelopment and reuse of properties. Because of real or perceived contamination at these sites, developers, banks and other lending institutions are hesitant or unwilling to invest in the property. Distribution of the Recovery Act funds by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Tanks section will help to remove those barriers at a number of potentially contaminated sites.

Assessing and cleaning up the sites will not only provide economic stimulus to the consultants and subcontractors doing the physical tank work, but will have farther reaching and sustainable positive economic impacts. Future redevelopment of the sites can spur the creation of jobs, expand existing businesses, create new businesses and clear the way for communities to redevelop and reuse these properties.

To inform the Department of any sites that may need tank closure, assessment or cleanup activities, contact the Department’s Tanks section at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-6822 or by email to tanks.stimulus@dnr.mo.gov.

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