U.S. Water News Online
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Buried storage tanks are leaking gasoline
into 25,000 sites around the state, causing concern that drinking
water may become contaminated, state officials said.
Florida's absorbent, sandy soil and residents' dependence on
groundwater contribute to the concerns, the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection said.
Public wells used by 17 million people are within a half-mile of
``People don't realize when they are filling their cars with gas
that they are handling a hazardous substance -- gasoline is explosive
and it can cause cancer,'' said Michael Ashey, chief of the Bureau of
Petroleum Storage Systems for the Florida environmental agency.
Florida ranks third after California and Texas in gasoline use,
burning nearly 20 million gallons a day, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy.
About 22,000 of the leak sites are near gas stations and similar
facilities, the department said.
Florida also has more leak sites than any other state except
California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.
State officials are cleaning up more than 3,000 sites, and more
than 10,000 sites are awaiting cleanup. The state will require
double-walled petroleum-storage systems to replace older tanks by
The state spent $151 million last year to expedite the cleanups,
but officials say they need more money to reduce the backlog.
Return to the
U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.