US EPA to fund MTBE cleanups

The US Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it would fund two $1 million pilot projects in Long Island, NY, and Santa Monica, Calif., to help clean the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from water supplies.


Washington, DC�The US Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it would fund two $1 million pilot projects in Long Island, NY, and Santa Monica, Calif., to help clean the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from water supplies.

The funding will accelerate cleanup at 50 MTBE-contaminated sites on Long Island. The funds for Santa Monica will be used to help the state and city clean contaminated groundwater.

EPA Administrator Carol Browner noted that the Clinton administration has urged Congress to eliminate MTBE from gasoline. Refiners have used the additive to increase the oxygen content of reformulated gasoline, in line with standards implemented under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

When gasoline tanks leak, however, MTBE leaves a discernable taste and odor in groundwater supplies.

EPA also has begun regulatory action to control MTBE under the Toxics Substances Control Act.

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