As many as 9,000 community water wells in 31 states may be at risk for contamination
What: A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oregon Graduate Institute shows that as many as 9,000 community water wells in 31 states may be affected by contamination from the gasoline additive methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) due to their proximity to leaking underground storage tanks. Added to gasoline in large amounts to reduce air pollution, MTBE has turned up in groundwater throughout the nation. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would begin phasing out the use of MTBE in gasoline. But even if MTBE is banned today, because it is persistent in the environment, it will be with us for at least a decade, says the studys authors.
Where can I find more information? The study, frequently asked questions, a list of states included ined the study and and state-specific information are all available online at:
The USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program
Who can I call for details or a quote? Call USGS scientist and study co-author John Zogorski (605) 355-4560, ext. 214
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to sound economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.