SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A state assembly environmental committee held a hearing in San Jose on Wednesday on the progress that is being made to clean up thousands of leaking underground fuel tanks.

Currently, two cents per gallon in gas taxes goes towards funding the underground storage tank clean up.

Fremont Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, who chairs the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, said there are still about 4,600 sites that need to be cleaned.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“Some of these sites have been open for 10 years and the regulators are saying, there’s flumes there and we’re worried about the groundwater contamination,” said Wieckowski. “You have to balance it off so the State Water Resource Control Board has a new policy that has been implemented and we’re trying to see how it’s working.”

The gas tax funding is set to end in 2014. Justin Malan, who heads the California Environmental Health Association, said it’s critical that the funding be continued.

“The way the clean up fund is structured is that the highest priority…goes to the sites that are most vulnerable for not being cleaned up because of the inadequacy of the resources by the responsible party,” said Malan.

Malan said, in many cases, those are mom and pop gas stations.

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