Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection Awarded $1.2 Million Grant for Environmental Clean Up

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a grant of nearly $1.2 million to the state of Kentucky to clean up petroleum contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. This Kentucky grant for environmental clean up will be distributed to fund ongoing clean ups.

Last fiscal year, Kentucky officials reported 109 new confirmed discharges, 162 cleanups completed and 636 remaining to be addressed. Officials say Kentucky’s goals for this year are to complete 130 cleanups.

EPA officials say the grant is being awarded to the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection. 

They say the grant is funded through the EPA Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund. Officials say states may use the funds to support staff employees who oversee the cleanup projects or to pay for contractual services to perform cleanup projects. The LUST Trust Fund is financed by a 0.1 cent tax on each gallon of motor fuel sold nationwide. 

The grant was announced while EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited Kentucky on Friday. 

The origins of the Leaking Underground Storage Tank fund

In the 1980s, policymakers realized that many of the country’s 2.2 million underground storage tanks, including petroleum storage tanks at gas stations, were leaking and those leakages were at risk of contaminating U.S. groundwater supplies. 

Starting in 1984, Congress passed a series of laws to tighten standards for the tanks and cleaning up leaks, all paid for by the 0.1-cent-per-gallon tax on motor fuels. That money went into the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, or “LUST fund.”  

By 2009, nearly 80 percent of the 488,000 leaking tank sites across the nation had been cleaned up. Only about 100,000 were remaining to be remediated. Later, Congress required the EPA to use some of the money collected for leak prevention as well. 

Brownfield is a term used in urban planning to describe land previously used for industrial purposes or some commercial uses. Such land may have been contaminated with hazardous waste, pollutants or contaminants, or is feared to have been. Once cleaned up, such areas can be developed for commercial or industrial development. 

Some of the money collected through the tax has been going to building new roads and infrastructure through brownfield and land revitalization activities. 

It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. “Cleaning these up and reinvesting in these properties facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, increase local tax revenues, increase residential property values near the sites and more.”

The 2018 Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act reauthorized EPA’s Brownfields Program, and authorized changes that affect brownfield grants, ownership and liability provisions, and State and Tribal Response Programs. These grants support revitalization efforts by funding environmental assessment, cleanup, and job training activities. 

Find out more about brownfields and the 2018 BUILD Act & EPA Brownfields Program

Here are some listings on GrantWatch for grants for environmental cleanup and related job training opportunities: 

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs for Economic Development in Economically Distressed Regions, Deadline: Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofits, government agencies, IHEs, tribes, and district organizations to support economic development, attract private investments and create jobs in economically distressed regions throughout the country. 

Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets. These support the implementation of economic development that advance new ideas and creative approaches. Distressed communities, including those negatively impacted by changes to the coal economy, will, therefore, advance in economic prosperity.

Grants to Florida Businesses, Especially in Inner Cities, Rural Areas,or Brownfield Area to Assist with the Training of New Employees, Deadline: Ongoing

Grants to new Florida businesses and for-profits, as well as existing businesses that are relocating to/expanding in Florida to help pay for job training for new employees. Priority will be given to first-time applicants and to businesses that offer jobs located in a distressed, urban inner city, rural area, or Brownfield area.

Priority will also be given to businesses whose grant proposals have the greatest potential for the economic impact that contribute in-kind and/or cash matches.

Grants to Florida Businesses, Especially in Inner Cities, Rural Areas, or Brownfield Area to Assist with the Training of New Employees, Deadline: Ongoing  Grants to Florida businesses for employee training and education programs. Funding is intended to cover costs for coursework, instruction, and curriculum development related to occupational skills training; leadership, management, and strategy training; and technical skills such as computer software training.

Check our Science & Community sections for more informational news about these ongoing issues and grants funding them.

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