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Today’s findings

DHEC has been criticized repeatedly by federal authorities for being slow to clean up contaminants from leaky underground fuel storage tanks.

Only eight other states have a worse record of cleaning up sites polluted by leaky tanks, which have caused 80 percent of the state’s groundwater contamination.

In a 2007 letter, DHEC told federal regulators it would ask state lawmakers for $8 million annually for the next five years to speed cleanups. DHEC actually asked for $278,000 on its budget priority list.